Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation and Implications for Trent University
On July 1st, 2014 the Canadian Ant-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force. CASL prohibits the sending of commercial electronic messages without the consent of the recipient. There are exemptions and exceptions to this legislation and there still remains a high level of confusion and complexity with this legislation as it applies to universities.
The Information Technology Department, the Secretariat, and Risk Management have been working hard to assess the impact of this legislation and have received some legal opinions to this effect. Based on this advice, we can report that the majority of university activity falls outside of the CASL legislation, but there is no “blanket” exemption when it comes to universities. To guide staff and faculty in ensuring that they comply with CASL, we have put together a decision flowchart that can be accessed here or through the following link:
We urge you to review this flowchart carefully to determine the actions that need to be taken, if any, when sending electronic messages.
To avoid being caught by CASL inadvertently, mixed messages whose content may relate to commercial and non-commercial activity should be avoided. If only a part of the message is considered to be of commercial activity, then the whole message would need to comply with the legislation.
Over the next number of months, we will be hosting a number of information sessions regarding mail management software and we urge you to attend if available. In the meantime, if you do need to send out a consent e-mail, we ask that you use some variation of the language as provided here or through the following link:
You can cut and paste this message into Outlook or Groupwise. Please ensure to keep source formatting.
In addition to the information provided in this announcement, we suggest that you access the following;
• Imagine Canada has prepared an Issue Alert that provides an update and clarifications on CASL, including two helpful FAQ documents.
• The Canadian Chamber of Commerce web site containsuseful CASL resources including FAQs, a guide entitled How to prepare for CASL, and a PowerPoint presentation explaining what organizations need to know about the law.
• The Government of Canada’s “Fight Spam” web site includes a number of resources such as a useful FAQ document and a February 2014 Industry Canada presentation that is intended to give a high level overview of what the Act applies to and what it requires, so that business and organizations may understand their new obligations.
• IT World Canada has published an answers to your CASL questions slide show that provides helpful information.
The penalty for non-compliance with CASL is a fine of up to $10 million for an organization for each violation, and $1 million for an individual for each violation. Officers, directors, agents (faculty and staff) can be held personally liable for their organization’s failure to comply with CASL.
We ask all departments, staff, and faculty communicating on behalf of the university to communicate any questions or concerns as follows;
- For questions related to whether your message can be considered a core activity, a commercial electronic message, or is exempt or for further guidance on consent and necessary message features, please contact Deb deBruijn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For technical questions related to the consent form, please contact Matt Keefer at: email@example.com