On March 5, 2015, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that it had issued a penalty of $1.1 million to Compu-Finder under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
The basis for this Notice of Violation is the fact that on at least four separate occasions between July 2, 2014, and September 16, 2014, Compu-Finder allegedly: (i) sent commercial electronic messages without the consent; and (ii) failed to honour requests to unsubscribe.
Compu-Finder now has 30 days to appeal the CRTC’s decision, request an undertaking, or pay the penalty.
In announcing this Notice of Violation, the CRTC concurrently announced that a number of investigations are presently underway under CASL. Although this is only the CRTC’s second publicly-reported enforcement action since CASL came into force on July 1, 2014, reports suggest that the CRTC has received over 245,000 complaints through its Spam Reporting Centre. We accordingly anticipate that the pace of enforcement actions to increase as the volume of complaints continues to grow.
Given the potential liabilities associated with a violation under CASL, businesses should review the way in which they communicate electronically to ensure that they are compliant with this legislation.