The Government of Canada recently announced that its much anticipated federal anti-spam laws (“CASL”) will come into force in three-parts beginning on July 1, 2014.

The first part of CASL aims to protect consumers from unsolicited electronic messages by giving them control over who can send them a commercial electronic message or business email. Persons and businesses in violation of the new laws may face significant financial penalties. Non-compliance with CASL can be reported on the federal government’s anti-spam legislation website, which can be accessed here.

On July 1, 2015, the sections of CASLrelated to the unsolicited installation of computer programs or software will come into force. These sections seek to protect consumers from potentially damaging and deceptive electronic threats (such as identity theft, phishing and spyware) by allowing them to decide who is allowed to put computer programs on their electronic devices.

The remaining sections pertain to a person’s right to commence an action in court in response to a violation of CASL. These sections will come into force on July 1, 2017.

The new legislation follows years of extensive consultation with the public, industry, and other interested parties. Given the complex web of legislation and the potential for stiff penalties, organizations should actively consider how CASL will impact their practices.