Canada’s new anti-spam law (commonly known as CASL) was passed in December 2010, and certain provisions will become effective 1 July 2014 — including new consent requirements for e-mails and certain other electronic messages.

As of 1 July 2014, an organization must have consent to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to an email account, telephone account or instant messaging account.  In addition, CEMs must include certain identification information and an unsubscribe mechanism.  The law applies to messages whenever a computer system located in Canada is used to send or access the CEM.  Certain exemptions and transition periods also apply.

The potential liability under CASL for businesses is up to $10 million (Canadian).

More details about the scope of CASL can be found on the Canadian government’s website.  The agency enforcing CASL, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, also recently issued guidelines on the development of a corporate compliance program, which can be found here.