In a recent press release, the Canadian government stated that they will be suspending the introduction of the private right of action set out in Canada’s anti-spam legislation (frequently referred to as CASL). The private right of action was meant to come into effect on July 1, 2017, but the government has suspended the implementation of this section to give a parliamentary committee more time to review the legislation and determine the best course of action to balance the protection of Canadian consumers against minimizing extra costs and unintended breaches by business owners.
The legislation has received mixed reviews thus far. While undoubtedly a step forward in minimizing unwanted spam, many business owners have expressed concern that the definition of commercial activity are vague, the requirements for consent are onerous, and the penalties for even unintentional non-compliance are harsh. The private right of action (most likely to be done as class actions) were one such example of potentially serious consequences for what might otherwise be a minor breach of the statute or its regulations.
It is not known when, if ever, the private right of action will be brought into force. In the meantime, business must continue to ensure that they comply with CASL’s requirements when engaging in all email communications and marketing.
The lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP have experience with international litigation, including jurisdiction challenges, privacy disputes, and insurance disputes. If you are involved in a CASL complaint, or other cyber liability issue, please contact us for an initial consultation.