Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), passed as Bill C-28 in December 2010, establishes new requirements for any party using electronic messaging for marketing in Canada. Specifically, CASL prohibits marketers from sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages—including text messages and messages sent via social media—to or from Canada unless the sender has obtained either explicit or implied consent from the intended recipients. The implementation and enforcement regulations promulgated pursuant to CASL were adopted in March 2012 and are scheduled to become effective at some point in early 2013 (the date has not yet been specified).

In 2003, the United States passed its own equivalent anti-spam law, the CAN-SPAM Act, which, thus far, has established the existing accepted industry practices for U.S. marketers. The CASL is tougher and more expansive than the CAN-SPAM Act. For instance:

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To stave off potentially crippling fines, companies that send commercial electronic messages to Canada or from Canada are well-advised to revisit their on-line marketing programs and policies to ensure CASL compliance.