Canada Email Spam Law—CASL Explained

Canada Anti-Spam Email Legislation Act (CASL) was issued in 2014. This law regulates commercial email and text sending, and it applies to messages:

  • Sent to Canadian companies or individuals
  • Sent by Canadian companies
  • Routed through the Canadian servers

Since CASL is in force, the spam activity decreased by 29% for spam received and 37% for spam sent by Canadians

Canada Spam Email Laws Breakdown

The goal of the CASL act is to protect businesses and individuals from the abuse of digital technology. It aims to prevent spam, scam, phishing, false representation, and malware installation. 


The CASL defines CEM (Commercial Electronic Message) as any message that encourages users to partake in commercial activity. Commercial activity is defined as the offer to purchase, sell, or lease a product or service, provide business or gaming opportunity, or promote a person who does any of those. 

For CEM to be legal, it needs to:

  • Be sent by an entity that obtained expressed or implied consent of the recipient
  • Contain information on who sent the message
  • Give means of contact which must be valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message is sent
  • Contain the Unsubscribe mechanism

Requesting consent is also considered a CEM. Consent requests must:

  • Have a clear purpose for which the permission is requested
  • Not be a part of the license agreement or general terms and conditions
  • Notify the user that they can withdraw the consent
  • Comply with CEM requirements listed above

CASL also regulates the installation of programs onto the user’s device. The purpose and features of the program must be clearly described. Programs must not change the operating system and other programs, or communicate with another computer unless the user is explicitly informed about it. 

Exceptions Defined by Canadian Email Spam Laws

Canada regulations define implied consents as the exceptions to the explicit consent requirement. The businesses are allowed to message you if:

Condition

Additional Conditions and Consent Validity Period
You were their client prior to the CASL

/

You have an ongoing relationship with the company

Subscription, membership, account, loan, or similar
You have an ongoing employment or cooperation relationship

/

A message provides warranty, product recall safety, or security information

For the product that you use, used or purchased
You sent an application or inquiry 

Your original contact with the organization needs to be no older than six months

It’s sent by a charity to which you donated or performed volunteer work for

Consent is implied for two years from the last action on your end
You made your contact public without stating that you don’t want to receive unsolicited messages. 

Only if the message is relevant to your business, role, or duties

If a business is sold, existing consents stay valid as long as the purpose of the consent remains the same. 

Canada Email Spam Law Penalties

According to CASL, individuals may be fined up to $1,000,000 and companies with up to $10,000,000 for sending spam emails or text messages.

DoNotPay Can Keep Your Inbox Clean Regardless of the CASL Email Spam Definition

DoNotPay can help you keep your inbox tidy and free of unsolicited or any other unwanted emails. Blocking and reporting spam has never been easier. 

  1. Open DoNotPay in your web browser
  2. Locate Spam Collector
  3. Click on Get Protected
  4. Input your email address 
  5. Block new spam email by forwarding it to spam@donotpay.com

How To Report CASL Prohibited Emails 

The organizations in charge of the CASL enforcement are:

You can report the spam or other infringement to all three regulatory bodies through the designated Spam Reporting Centre.

Other Spam Regulation Acts 

The Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S. and GDPR in the EU are the best-known laws governing online marketing etiquette, privacy, and online safety. CASL’s implementation started in 2014, four years before the European GDPR. 

Some of the other legislation documents, providing the grounds for protection against unsolicited messages and online fraud, are:

Country

Legal Act

Year Of Coming Into Force

Canada

(PIPEDA) Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act 2000
US CAN-SPAM Act

2003

UK

Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, significantly altered after Brexit in 2019
Australia Spam Act of 2003

2003

EU

Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications 2002
EU GDPR

2018

Fight Junk in Your Physical Mailbox With DoNotPay 

Offers, flyers, scam letters, nonsense bulletins, and coupons are annoying. Avoid the clutter in your mailbox with our revolutionary DoNotMail feature. The process is simple:

  1. Take a photo of the unsolicited letter or flyer
  2. Upload to DoNotPay

We will unsubscribe you from receiving more spam from that organization. We will let you know if there is a class-action suit against the sender, you can join it. 

Learn More About Spam

For additional reading, you can refer to the DoNotPay learning center:

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Is your daily to-do list overwhelmed by tedious bureaucratic tasks? Give our app a chance to unload that burden.

If you wonder why you are getting spam emails from dating sites, want to learn more about email unsubscribe law, or if you want to report robocalls, we are there to help you. 

DoNotPay artificial intelligence automation system is developed to manage otherwise tedious chores in your stead. We can take over your workload and provide a chance to earn in the process. 

DoNotPay can help you with:

You can access DoNotPay via a web browser to get access to all of these features.