Canada, previously the only G8 country without an anti-spam law, has made up for lost time by approving the world’s toughest anti-spam law to date.

Canada’s stern anti-spam law has fines of up to 10 million dollars for corporations and 1 million dollars for individuals that violate it. While US anti-spam law requires an opt-out option for any email sent, Canada takes it a step further and requires that someone opt-in before being sent any email.  The legislations steps beyond just email communications and includes any kind of ‘digital messaging’ including texts and phone calls.

Exceptions to every rule

Of course, there are exceptions to the legislation. If a company is delivering requested information or if the emails are being sent between people with ‘personal relationships’, then it’s not necessary to have an opt-in. Additionally, ‘implied consent’ can be granted if there has been an existing business arrangement for two or more years.

Are you and your business ready?

While the legislation is not expected to be enforced until 2013, there are several steps that your business will have to take in order to be compliant. With the exception of the specific opt-in clauses, Canada’s legislation is effectively in line with globally accepted best practices. Pardot has long been an advocate of stricter CAN-SPAM standards, and encourage our clients to also use opt-in messaging even if it’s not required in the US (yet). Take a look at the below guidelines to make sure your business is compliant:

  • No misleading headers, subject lines, and sender information
  • Must include a physical mailing address in your email
  • Specific opt-in consent to being sent messages
  • Cannot modify transmission data
  • Must provide obvious unsubscribe option

You can also take this online quiz to check on your business’ spam readiness.

Tim Niziak

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2 responses to Canada Introduces the World’s Strictest Anti-Spam Legislation

  1. I think slowly but surely the web space is getting cleaned up. If you think about its life cycle we surely still are at the nose end of things. Google creates up to 500 algorithm tweaks per/year just to keep things efficiency and clean. We all hate spam.

    • Maciej – we are in complete agreement with you. Here’s to a better web experience for all!