The PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) has been around for some time, but sadly Canada has never really dealt directly with the issues of Spam, phishing, spyware and malware – until now.
Several key clauses of Bill C-27: Electronic Commerce Protection Act were passed in this week’s Standing Committee Meeting which will reconvene on Monday to bash it out again. Here’s a rundown of the main requirements put forth that will affect all commercial emailers:
- Prohibits the sending of a commercial message to anyone without the recipient’s prior consent and this includes messages asking for the recipient to “opt-in”. Commercial-based messages may be sent if the sender has a prior business relationship with the recipient, but only if that period does not exceed 2 years.
- Unsubscribe requests must be processed within 10 business days, which is consistent with CAN SPAM and was met with some opposition by the Bloc but eventually passed.
- Mandatory content that includes information enabling the recipient to readily contact the sender (ie: full mailing address with postal code and phone number), also consistent with CAN SPAM.
- Penalties for violations are still yet to be ironed out but the CRTC has given power to impose a penalty of $1,000,000.00 for individuals and as high as $10,000,000.00 for any other person. It also gives the right for individuals to sue spammers.
It is difficult to say when and in what form this new piece of legislation will finally be put into law, but one can only hope it does not come out a shadow of its former self. These are important times and if you would like to join Neil Schwartzman and the other fine people at CAUCE (The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email) with me in joining your voice in support of Canada’s C-27 Anti-spam Legislation please click here to sign their petition.
Stay tuned… and bye for now,