Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (Infographics)

What Constitutes a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM)?

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Commercial Electronic Message (Infographic) - see below for text alternative

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Under CASL, a CEM is a message that encourages participation in a commercial activity, including, but not limited to: offering, advertising or promoting a product, a service or a person.

Examples Include:

  • Email
  • Sms text message
  • Instant messaging

Specific conditions apply. Please refer to the Legislation and its Regulations.

Is My Existing Express Consent Valid?

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Is My Existing Express Consent Valid? (Infographic) See below for text alternative.

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CASL starts July 1, 2014

Valid express consent before CASL

Yes! Your existing valid express consent is acceptable after CASL comes into effect.

You must comply with CASL

CASL requires that a request for express consent contain all the prescribed identification and contact information. Express consent cannot be obtained via a commercial electronic message after CASL comes into force, unless you already have implied consent as defined in CASL.

Remember: Under CASL, senders must retain proof of express consent, even if consent was obtained prior to CASL coming into effect.

Express Consent Versus Implied Consent

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Express consent versus implied consent (Infographic). See below for text alternative.

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What you need to know before sending out your commercial electronic message

Implied consent

Existing business relationship

The recipient has made, or enquired about, a purchase or lease of goods, services, land or interest in land, a written contract or the acceptance of a business, investment or gaming opportunity from you.

Existing non-business relationship

You are a registered charity, a political party or a candidate, and the recipient has provided you a gift, a donation or volunteer work.

You are a club, association or voluntary organization and the recipient is one of your members.

Recipient’s e-mail address was conspicuously published or sent to you

The address was disclosed without any restrictions and your message relates to the recipient’s functions or activities in a business or official capacity.

Express consent

Valid consent given in writing or orally

The recipient gave you a positive or explicit indication of consent to receive commercial electronic messages.

Your request for consent set out clearly and simply the prescribed information.

Keep records

Keep records of how you obtained implied or express consent, since in both cases you have the onus to prove consent.

Time limit

Express consent is not time-limited

Unless the recipient withdraws his or her consent.

Implied consent is generally time-limited

It is typically a period of 2 years after the event that starts the relationship (e.g. purchase of a good). For subscriptions or memberships, the period starts on the day the relationship ends.

Specific conditions apply. Please refer to the Legislation and its Regulations.

Know Your Responsibility When Managing Consent

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Know your responsibility when managing consent (Infographic). See below for text alternative.

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How do I manage consent for companies I will work with in the future?

  • Company A can obtain valid express consent to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) for their own use as for yet-to-be determined third parties they will work with in the future.
  • Company A can share the recipient’s electronic address with Companies B and X.
  • Companies A, B and X can all send CEMs to the recipient using the express consent obtained by Company A. Companies B and X must identify in their CEMs that they received the express consent to send the CEM from Company A.
  • The recipient must be able to withdraw their express consent from ANY of these companies by unsubscribing from receiving ANY or ALL CEMs. Company A needs to notify parties of an unsubscribe request that relates to them and Companies B and X have an obligation to notify Company A of any unsubscribe request they receive relating to the express consent acquired by Company A.

All companies are accountable for managing the recipient’s consent and unsubscribe requests

All companies must include their identification and unsubscribe mechanism in each CEM.

Specific conditions apply. Please refer to the Legislation and its Regulations.

Information to be Included in a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM)

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Information to be included in a commercial electronic message (CEM) (Infographic). See below for text alternative.

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What information needs to be included in a CEM?

Identification

Identify your business name, if different from your name (if not, identify your name) and the name of anyone else on whose behalf or business you are sending the message.

Contact information

You must include your mailing address. You must also include one of: a phone number to access an agent or a voice messaging system, an email address, or a web address for you or the person on whose behalf you are sending the message. Ensure these contact methods are accurate and valid for a minimum of 60 days after sending the message.

Be clear

If you are using a link to provide the required information, the link must be clearly and prominently displayed in the message.

Specific conditions apply. Please refer to the Legislation and its Regulations.

Personal Relationship Exemption

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Personal relationship exemption (Infographic). See below for text alternative.

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Two way communications where the sender is an individual and does not send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) on behalf of a company and the recipient is an individual.

The sender and recipient have had direct, voluntary, two-way communications in the past. These communications reveal a personal relationship.

What you need to consider before relying on the personal relationship exemption

In past communications, did you share the same:

  • Interests
  • Experiences
  • Opinions
  • Information

Were these communications frequent?

Has it been a long time since you last communicated?

Did you ever meet each other in person?

Proof

You should be able to prove this relationship with your past communications, if necessary.

Real Identity

You should know the real identity of each other (as opposed to only communicating by using an alias or a virtual identity).

Social Media

Using social media or sharing the same network does not necessarily reveal a personal relationship. The mere use of buttons available on social media websites (such as clicking on “like,” voting for or against a link or a post, accepting someone as a “friend,” or clicking to “follow” someone) will generally be insufficient to constitute a personal relationship.

Specific conditions apply. Please refer to the Legislation and its Regulations.

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