The Complete Guide to Email Disclaimer Laws in Canada
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Canada's Anti-Spam Law
Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL) came into effect on July 1, 2014. It requires businesses to obtain either express “opt-in” or implied consent to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to any recipient. This can be anything from email to SMS and social media messages. As a result, this legislation is far broader than others such as CAN-SPAM which are just targeted at emails.
In addition, all electronic marketing messages need to:
Why is this important?
Canada's Anti-Spam Law is designed with consumers in mind, giving them complete control over their email messages. It allows anyone to stop any email marketing communications they have not explicitly opted in to receiving.
Organizations must amend their electronic marketing databases and update their customer relationship management (CRM) databases to comply with CASL’s stricter model.
Implied consent only applies under very limited circumstances such as:
What happens if an organization ignores CASL?
Three Canadian government agencies are responsible for this law. If you breach its regulations, you can receive a fine of up to $10 million and face criminal charges. These fines are imposed per violation daily.
What steps should be taken to comply with CASL?
Some recommended steps to take are:
The need for an email disclaimer
CASL mandates that ALL companies obtain some level of consent before sending email messages to any recipient. However, the larger your organization is, the harder it is to enforce a CASL email policy for all messages. This is why there is a need for an email disclaimer to appear on all corporate messages.
The sender must provide the following in all emails:
The unsubscribe link needs to be included with a compliant email disclaimer. This is so the recipient can let you know if they no longer wish to hear from you. The best way to do this is via centralized email signature management. By using a third-party solution, companies can ensure a compliant email disclaimer is included on all corporate mails.
Here are some Canadian email disclaimer examples you can use in your company:
Canadian Privacy Act
Applicable to anyone storing personal data, the Canadian Privacy Act was established to protect personal information collected by the Canadian government. It gives individuals the right to access information about themselves. It also governs how private sector organizations collect, use, and disclose personal details in the course of commercial business.
An email disclaimer helps ensure that recipients are clear how their personal data is collected and to decrease liability in case of private information being made public.
PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act is a Canadian law designed to ensure that personal information collected by businesses is kept securely. It also ensures that this data will only ever be collected, used, and given out under a strict set of circumstances. An email disclaimer simply helps highlight that your organization conforms to the highest standards of data privacy and security.
In addition, the Act contains various provisions to facilitate the use of electronic documents. PIPEDA incorporates and makes mandatory provisions of the Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, developed in 1995.