TrustArc Blog

First CASL Fine Issued for $1.1 Million Due to Non-Compliance

March 12, 2015

Eight months after the CASL act was passed, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued its first fine against company Compu-Finder for $1.1 million for non-compliance with the act.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) came into force on July 1, 2014 and is one of the toughest anti-spam laws in the world. CASL applies to electronic messages sent in connection with a commercial activity and requires that such messages receive consent from recipients before sending. The CRTC is tasked with enforcing compliance and fining companies in violation of the stipulations laid out in CASL.

Compu-Finder had four violations under CASL including sending “commercial electronic messages in which the required unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly,” according to Canadian Communications Law. In addition, complaints about Compu-Finder accounted for 26% of all complaints submitted about this industry sector, according to a press release from the CRTC.

To send a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM), organizations need express consent from recipients, either orally or in writing. In some cases consent can be implied if an existing business or non-business relationship exists, or if the recipient voluntarily discloses their contact information without asking to not receive communications.

To contest this fine and Notice of Violation “Compu-Finder has 30 days to submit written representations to the CRTC or pay the penalty. It also has the option of requesting an undertaking with the CRTC on this matter,” according to the press release.

After news of Compu-Finder’s fine was made public, the CRTC said it is doing a number of other investigations, but have not made the details of those public. According to CASL, companies in violation of the act can face fines up to $10 million.

To learn more about what CASL means for your business contact your TRUSTe Account Representative on 1-888-878-7830.