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New Canadian anti-spam compliance and enforcement guidelines

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued new compliance and enforcement guidelines for Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which will come into force in stages beginning 1 July 2014.

A compliance programme is a critical element in establishing a due diligence defence to a violation of CASL. The CRTC may take into account an organisation’s compliance programme in exercising discretion to take enforcement action and in terms of the size of any administrative monetary penalties imposed. Although the guidelines are late in coming given that the implementation of this complex legislation is coming into force in days, the guidelines are helpful in understanding what the CRTC considers to be a compliance programme and gives some window to understanding to what an organisation may need to do to establish due diligence as a defence.

The CRTC recognises that compliance programmes need to be tailored to the size and resources of a business. The CRTC expects larger organisations to implement more of the elements of a compliance organisation than small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Nevertheless, SMEs are not ‘off the hook’…

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