For the longest time, I have based my email campaigns practices on that of the U.S. anti-spam legislation, and since I am a Constant Contact Partner, their ‘best practices’ outline as well. Until recently (December 10, 2010), Canada did not have their own version of anti-spam legislation. Well now they do.
What does it mean to the average business?
The key points:
“The new act would establish a regulatory framework to protect electronic commerce in Canada and would:
- address unsolicited commercial electronic mail (spam) by prohibiting the sending of commercial electronic messages without consent;
- prohibit detrimental practices to electronic commerce, protect the integrity of transmission data and prohibit the installation of computer programs without consent in the course of commercial activity;
- prohibit false or misleading commercial representations online;
- prohibit the collection of personal information via unlawful access to computer systems and the unauthorized compiling or supplying of lists of electronic addresses;
- provide for a private right of action for businesses and consumers;
- provide for extended liability (follow the money);
- allow the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Competition Tribunal Canada to impose administrative monetary penalties on those who violate the respective Acts; and
- allow for the international sharing of information and evidence to pursue spammers outside of Canada with our global partners.” Pasted from <http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ecic-ceac.nsf/eng/gv00568.html>
The new act will be enforced by three organizations:
In short – the basics require that your email database be permission-based. We will explore more about this in upcoming blogs.
The Canadian government predicts the results of their new anti-spam legislation to become noticeable fairly quickly, siting that one year after Australia introduced similar legislation they dropped off the world’s top 10 spam originating countries.
While Bill C-28 is extremely lengthy, be sure to follow my blog for a better understanding of what it means to you as a small business owner and your email marketing campaigns. The next few blogs will cover this topic.