Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will begin to take effect on July 1, 2014 when most of its provisions enter into force. The new law and its associated regulations will apply broadly to any individual, business or organization that makes use of commercial electronic messages (CEMs), is involved with the alteration of transmission data, or produces or installs computer programs. However, the provisions dealing with CEMs are of particular but not exclusive relevance to Common Short Codes. For full details of the CASL - refer to the CMA website.
Once the law is in force, anyone who makes use of CEMs must comply with the applicable requirements and prohibitions under CASL, which apply to the sending of CEMs over most types of platforms, including those delivered via Common Short Codes. The Government of Canada explains that a CEM “is any electronic message that encourages participation in a commercial activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit” and summarizes the requirements applicable to CEMs by noting that “the sender will need to obtain consent from the recipient before sending the message and will need to include information that identifies the sender and enables the recipient to withdraw consent.”
All Common Short Code Applicants and Content Providers are responsible for ensuring that any CEMs they send using a Common Short Code fully comply with the requirements of CASL as of July 1, 2014. CWTA is not responsible for ensuring CASL compliance within the Common Short Code Programs. This remains the individual responsibility of each Applicant and Content Provider.
CWTA recommends that Applicants and Content Providers leasing Common Short Codes familiarize themselves with the CASL requirements including the legislation and associated regulations to ensure compliance and seek independent legal advice or contact the CRTC where required.
Information on CASL, including FAQs and other facts, the law and regulations, oversight and management and enforcement can be found at fightspam.ca. In the coming weeks, CWTA will provide additional summaries of CRTC and Industry Canada guidance materials as they become available that may assist with compliance.