The article is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Materials on this website are published by Kimoby to provide your business with free information regarding the laws and policies described. While Kimoby offers a communications platform built with compliance in mind, you should contact an attorney before launching a text message marketing campaign for your business, or with any questions or advice about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
Before diving into the law itself and its requirement, you may want to get familiar with the definition of the words used in CASL by reading our blog post Useful Definitions to Help You Understand Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
Now you have a better understanding of the terminology used in the field of the CASL regulation, we can deep dive into its principles.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), is a federal law, created in 2014 to protect Canadian residents from receiving unsolicited commercial electronic messages. It is often assimilated to the Anti-spam law.
On the one hand, as end-users, we appreciate the benefits of this law that prevent spams from overwhelming our inboxes of many kinds such as voicemails, emails, text messages or messaging systems.
On the other hand, as business managers or marketers, although CASL helps us rationalize and rethink the way we engage with our customers or audience, we have to consider this law and adapt both our tools and our daily business operations to make sure we comply with the law.
CASL states that before you send a commercial electronic message (CEM) to an electronic address, you need to comply with three main requirements:
CASL applies to a commercial electronic message (CEM) that is sent to an electronic address of Canadian recipients.
CASL applies to any person or business sending CEMs to Canadian people and or companies. CEMs sent from another country to Canada’s recipients must comply with CASL.
Messages that are commercial in nature that are sent over a text messaging service or Bluetooth messaging are subject to CASL, as these messages are transmitted to an electronic address. This means you must have obtained consent before sending the message, must include identification requirements and have a functioning unsubscribe mechanism.
As we saw in a previous blog post, there are two kinds of consents: express consent and implied consent.
To obtain the consent of a person to send CEMs, you have to:
When a person has clearly agreed to receive CEMs by taking a proactive action such as by opting-in, for example signing up on a website, this is express consent. Such consent can be obtained in writing, orally or electronically. Express consent doesn’t expire, although the recipient can withdraw his consent at any time.
Yes. Consent is considered implied in some specific situations:
In the case of someone purchasing from a business, the implied consent is valid for 2 years.
No, you can’t. An electronic message that contains a request for consent to send a CEM is also considered to be a commercial electronic message.
Yes! You must be able to prove you got consent from a recipient. Remember that the sender is the one who has to prove he received consent.
With the CEMs you send, you must include an option to unsubscribe.
For example, you can add a clear link in an email with a click to unsubscribe with a click. In the case of text messages, the CEM sent via SMS may content the explicit mention that the recipient can text “STOP” to unsubscribe.
You can offer recipients to unsubscribe to all or specific CEMs your organization sends such as emails, newsletters, blog posts or text messages.
The unsubscribe mechanism must be simple, quick and easy for the end-user.
There are several exemptions of which are the followings. CASL doesn’t apply in the case of:
For the detailed exemptions for CASL, refer to the law.
Yes. However, there are exemptions. For more information refer to section 3(g) of the Governor-in-Council Regulations for CEMs sent by or on behalf of a registered charity where the primary purpose of the CEM is to raise funds for the charity.
CEMs sent by or on behalf of a political party or a person who is a candidate for elected office are excluded if the primary purpose of the CEM is to solicit a contribution, according to the Governor-in-Council (GIC) Regulations.
In conclusion, CASL applies to most CEMs you send to an electronic address. The latter is not limited to emails as it also includes voicemails and text messages. Then, CASL also applies to text messaging.
Now you know what CASL consists in and what you should do, make sure you have the right tools. If you are not using texting for your business today you may want to start looking for the best CASL compliant solution that will meet with your goals.
Take a look at our platform.
Ready to breathe new life into your business communications?