Industry Canada Anti-Spam regs released

On January 5, 2013, Industry Canada released its second attempt at regulations under the Anti-spam Act.  The Act is expected to come into force some time in 2013.  One of the keys to its practical implementation are the regulations.  These Industry Canada regulations are subject to a 30 day commentary period, but because they are a second draft, I expect they are very close to final. Anyone wanting to make comments can do so following the process described in the release.

The Industry Canada regulations are important as they help define what is and is not spam. 

The Act defines spam so broadly that it will affect how most of us conduct business and goes far beyond what the average person would consider to be spam.  Most businesses and charities now routinely send emails that will be considered spam under the Act.

The regulations are helpful, but the fact that it has to go on at length about the definition of such things is an indication of just how complex and over reaching the legislation is.

The regulations:

  • Define “family relationship” and “personal relationship”
  • Adds as an exemption from the definition of spam messages within an organization or with contracted parties
  • Adds as an exemption from the definition of spam messages in reply to a request or complaint
  • Adds as an exemption from the definition of spam messages sent to satisfy legal obligations or enforce rights
  • Adds a complex limited exemption for business referrals
  • Exempt the need for consent for certain software installed by telecommunications service providers
  • Defines what membership in a club, association or voluntary organization means for the purposes of an “existing non-business relationship”

I’m working on a series of articles about the anti-spam act to be published later this month, so stay tuned for more detail.

2 thoughts on “Industry Canada Anti-Spam regs released”

  1. Hi David!

    Thank you for providing CAEM members with your webinar today on this anti spam legislation issue.

    I personally agree that we need some sort of legislation to try and stop the spammers but we all know most of them come from overseas where this legislation would never be able to punish those from other countries (much like our Do Not Call List for telemarketers).

    Time will tell if this legislation will be tested in court. I personally cannot see a business being fined $20 million for sending an email to a business prospect. Who is going to handle all these complaints and how long will it take the government and courts to impose fines and prosecute? Does our court system not have enough on their hands dealing with much larger crimes in this country?

    My opinion is that this is going to cost Canadian business $billions to implement.

    I look forward to reading your future blogs on this topic. Please accept this message as my authorization for you to notify me when updates on this topic are discussed and blogged on your website – :).

    Kind Regards,

    Arnie Gess
    Falcon Ridge Group Inc
    Sundre, Alberta

  2. Thanks for this, David. Do you know how this pending legislation might affect this situation ? I’m a Canadian Franchisee of an American based company. the company sends emails to Canadians who (in some cases long ago) opted into that service. The emails, however, look like they’re coming from our local office ( through a 3rd party american email marketing service). In the case of any charges, who would be liable – us or corporate. Our both?

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