Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is Canada's New Anti-Spam Legislation a Joke?

Well as of July 1, 2014., companies in Canada are not allowed to email businesses without the written consent of the recipient, according to the new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).  Is this a joke?  I think I have received more emails over the last few weeks asking me for my consent than I have received actual spam!  Are these email requests not spam under the definition of spam in the Legislation?  Therefore, has this Legislation not just exponentially contributed to an increase of spam rather than get a control on it?  All of this reminds me of the infamous telemarketing "no-call" list the government tried to implemented a number of years ago.  In droves Canadians submitted their phone numbers in wishful thinking that unwanted solicitation calls would cease - my experience was they actually increased.  You see, this no-call list was submitted to the companies making the phone calls, instructing them to not call those numbers on the list.  Well, with limited resources to police the no-call list, I believe the list actually became a list that validated "good" phone numbers to the telemarketing companies; hence the increase in calls to me.  Although the CASL is different in its concept, it still begs the question on how it will be enforced, if at all.

The interesting thing to me is that nowhere in the Legislation does it outline or stipulate how a company is suppose to seek your consent other that saying that it has to be in writing.  How does a company make you aware that they have content that is worthy of your consent without sending it to you first?  Or at the very least, how do they contact you asking for consent without spamming you for your consent?  It will be interesting to see how and if this Legislation will be enforced or just forgotten about over time.

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