Have you heard about Canada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation? Set to take effect starting July 1, 2014, this new law is designed to help Canadians avoid spam and other electronic threats. Here is some information about what these changes might mean for you.

How does the law apply?

This new anti-spam law sets out requirements for anyone sending out what is referred to as “commercial electronic messages” (CEM). In broad terms, a CEM is the kind of message where someone tries to sell you something or offers you a business opportunity. This might be a weekly email newsletter you get from your favourite clothing store, or a coupon-by-text-message you get from a restaurant.

Here are the three key parts of the new Anti-Spam Legislation:

  • Consent. This new law ensures that CEMs are only sent to consumers who consented to receive them. For you, this might look like signing up online for a newsletter or giving verbal consent to a call centre.
  • Identification. After the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation comes into effect, anyone who sends a CEM has to properly identify themselves.
  • Unsubscribe. This anti-spam law says that any CEM sent to a consumer has to have an “unsubscribe mechanism.” That is, a way to opt-out of any future message.

There are three government agencies responsible for enforcement of the law: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. For more information on this new anti-spam law, please visit www.fightspam.gc.ca.

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