Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL)

Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL) was passed in December 2010 and, following a Governor in Council order, it entered into force on July 1, 2014. The law will help to protect Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace. On January 15, 2015, sections of the Act related to the unsolicited installation of computer programs or software came into force.

The new law generally prohibits the:

  • sending of commercial electronic messages without the recipient's consent (permission), including messages to email addresses and social networking accounts, and text messages sent to a cell phone;

  • alteration of transmission data in an electronic message which results in the message being delivered to a different destination without express consent;

  • installation of computer programs without the express consent of the owner of the computer system or its agent, such as an authorized employee;

  • use of false or misleading representations online in the promotion of products or services;

  • collection of personal information through accessing a computer system in violation of federal law (e.g. the Criminal Code of Canada); and

  • collection of electronic addresses by the use of computer programs or the use of such addresses, without permission (address harvesting).

CASL: Canada's Anti-Spam Law