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June 18, 2014

The New Canadian Anti-Spam Law: What You Need to Know About Express and Implied Consent

On July 1, 2014 the new Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is coming into effect. Now is the time to get your database and email lists ready so you are compliant with the new spam law. The new laws will impact any telecommunication to an “electronic address”. That means all forms of electronic communication through any medium.

It’s all about the intent of the message. If your message is commercial in nature, it encourages a commercial activity, then the message it is subject to the new law.

One of the aspects about the new spam law that is most asked about is “consent”. What does it mean? How does it impact what I am doing now?

Express consent is when the potential customer, or recipient of your message, has given explicit permission to receive emails from you. Keep in mind you have to be able to prove they have given express consent.

Implied consent is when you’ve sent messages without consent, but you have an existing business relationship.

When it comes to implied consent there are two key points from the new law to keep in mind:

  1. The law allows implied consent for existing users in your database, but only until July 1, 2017 (three years after CASL goes into effect on July 1, 2014). Additionally, during this time frame, senders must obtain express consent from their contacts.
  2. The sender may also contact people who have not provided express consent but who have made a purchase, requested information, or have an ongoing service agreement. However, implied consent becomes invalid after 24 months if the recipient has not taken some form of action or provided express consent.

For more information about the force of the new spam law please read this detailed blog by one of Canada’s largest business law firms, Gowlings. (

Contact us to talk about how you can make sure you are compliant with the new spam law. You may contact your Account Director, Project Manager, or myself at [email protected].

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