Express Consent is key. Are you compliant?
Caorda’s marketers and compliance team can help.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Did everyone on my mailing list click an opt-in check-box?
- Do I have records of the date my contacts consented?
- Do I know how my contacts got on my list?
If the answer is “NO” to any of these questions, you may not be CASL compliant and your list may be looked at as ‘implied consent’ or worse.
We recommend that you ensure that all or your contacts are immediately verified with ‘express consent’ and that you retain proof how you obtained consent. Not to worry, Caorda has a great CASL Service to help with email list validation.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation Details
When did CASL start?
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) came into full force on July 1, 2014. CASL is one of the toughest anti-spam laws of its kind in the world, and significantly impacts businesses, individuals, and organizations that communicate with their valuable client base electronically.
What is the big change?
Under CASL, you cannot rely on previous consent from your contacts without having a legitimate record of express consent being provided. You also must provide full information on who is sending the message, clear information on opt-out, and your opt-out mechanism needs to be working correctly.
Express consent is obtained by clearly explaining what the user is consenting to, to whom the consent will be given, and requiring the user to take action to enable that consent. Proving express consent means that you will have stored the date, time, purpose and manner of consent in a database or record store of some sort.
Implied consent is officially defined as a pre-existing recent business relationship or someone who is in a family relationship. Most guides online note that sending a user to a pre-checked form or simply making them visit a link to confirm interest would qualify as implied consent because the user did not expressly consent.
How can I gather consent?
Options for gathering consent vary, allowing you to get it in writing, electronically, or even orally. The most important step is to maintain records of the process and date. Keep in mind that legal obligation for proving consent was obtained falls on the sender. Employing a 3rd party, assuming they are following CASL standards, is an excellent way to ensure that there’s little doubt that consent was obtained.
Who needs to prepare for CASL?
CASL applies to everyone in some way or another if they send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) – individuals, incorporated and unincorporated business, not-for-profit agencies, anyone. A CEM is defined as any message that encourages (not simply solicits) participation in commercial activity. Consequently, any advertisement, promotion, offer, newsletter, event posting, etc., will be considered a CEM.
CASL Best Practices?
Even with express consent, the best practice is to ensure your clients know you comply and see that you have working opt-out mechanisms. Thanks to the unity among anti-spam services, having your clients aggressively marketing your emails as spam is a real concern. The extra clicks that a good opt-in mechanism requires to be express consent will also stick in the memory of clients and help avoid problems since even strictly CASL compliant emails can be mistakenly flagged as spam. Consider taking the time to put a CASL compliance statement where your clients will see it and clearly recognize that your business cares about spam. The Caorda CASL Compliance Service comes with a CASL verification seal that you can use to quickly inform users of your compliance.
Read more about the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) at Government of Canada’s website.