Industry Canada published revised draft regulations to Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation ("CASL") on January 5, 2013. The revised draft Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations ("IC Regulations") were intended to address concerns raised by stakeholders following the release of the original draft regulations in July, 2011.

The revised draft of the IC Regulations includes:

  • A broadened definition of "personal relationship", which provides more flexibility for the types of "personal messages" that would be exempted from the application of CASL;
  • Expanded provisions exempting messages sent in the business-to-business context;
  • Provisions permitting messages sent based on certain referrals;
  • Clarification on when CASL will not apply to messages sent from outside Canada;
  • An exemption for messages sent to satisfy legal obligations;
  • An exemption for messages that are solicited or sent in response to complaints or requests;
  • Conditions for the use of consents obtained by third parties; and
  • Provisions related to the installation of certain computer programs by telecommunication service providers.

The Regulatory Impact Analysis Assessment that accompanied the revised IC Regulations set out the issues raised by stakeholders that were not addressed in the proposed IC Regulations, as well as issues that may be addressed in future compliance guidelines. 

Interested parties were able to submit comments to Industry Canada on the IC Regulations until February 4, 2013. AccessPrivacy/Heenan Blaikie made a submission that focused on specific issues of concern raised at the AccessPrivacy Chief Privacy Officer Forum CASL Workshop on the Industry Canada Regulations. The Workshop was attended by senior Chief Privacy Officers, in-house counsel and compliance professionals from 50 major companies in the financial services, retail, outsourcing, health, educational and on-line/digital services sectors.