Common business concerns about Canada’s anti-spam legislation

Find out where to get accurate information about some of the most common concerns that businesses have about Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL).

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Compliance and consequences

Ensuring your business is in full compliance with CASL requires a close look at the legislation. The CRTC's FAQs and the Competition Bureau's FAQs contain information about various kinds of communications—such as text messages, instant messages and social media posts—and the consequences of violating the legislation.

You may also want to consult the Guidelines on the Commission’s approach to section 9 of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2018-415, in which the CRTC provides general compliance guidelines and best practices for stakeholders with respect to section 9 of CASL.

When CASL came info effect, it also included updates to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) shares the responsibility for enforcing CASL with the CRTC and Competition Bureau. For detailed information, you may want to consult the OPC’s guidance for businesses on complying with the CASL-related provisions in PIPEDA. Please see:

Charities and not-for-profits

CASL implied consent provisions may apply to charitable and non-profit organizations as well as businesses. For more details, see the CRTC's FAQs, the Competition Bureau's FAQs and subsections 10(9)(a) and 10(13) of CASL.

Marketing to customers outside of Canada

If your business markets its products or services to recipients outside of Canada, it needs to comply with the anti-spam laws of these other countries. However, all senders in Canada are encouraged to abide by best practices and include a prominent and easy-to-use unsubscribe mechanism as well as a clear identification of the sender (or person on whose behalf the message is sent).