CASL and Commercial Electronic Messages

Anti-Spam: Express Written Consent

A fundamental underlying principle of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is that a commercial electronic message (CEM) may be sent only with the consent of the person receiving it.

The consent may be express (written or oral) or implied, within the circumstances set out in CASL.  CASL establishes the types of information that must be disclosed in order to obtain express written consent to send a CEM.

Electronic forms of writing are to be considered “in writing” for purposes of CASL.

To obtain express written consent, a positive or explicit indication of consent is required. Accordingly, express consent cannot be obtained through consent mechanisms where the default is the granting of consent (e.g., pre-checked boxes).

A consent provision must be separately accepted (e.g., initialed).

Figure 1: An example of toggling that assumes consent and is unacceptable

Figure 2: An example of bundling consent and is unacceptable

Figure 3: An example of checking a box to indicate consent and is acceptable

Figure 4: An example of providing an email address to indicate consent and is acceptable

Figure 5: An example of providing a responding email to indicate consent and is acceptable
By responding to this email with the words “I agree”, I agree to receive from you communications concerning mortgage news, information, updates, and related communications.  I understand I can withdraw my consent at any time.

Sender, mailing address, telephone number, and email address

Information to be Included in Any Commercial Electronic Message

Any commercial electronic message must:

  • identify who sent the message
  • identify on whose behalf the message is sent (if not the sender’s)
  • provide contact information for both of the above (i.e., each of the below)
    • the mailing address
    • either a telephone number providing access to an agent or a voice messaging system
    • an email address or a web address of the person sending the message or, if different, the person on whose behalf the message is sent
  • the addresses must be valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message is sent

The above can usually be addressed by way of a signature block in the email.

However you must also include unsubscribe information. It can be as simple as:

Unsubscribe: If you do not wish to receive electronic messages from (insert name of party who has consent and is sending the email) in the future, please reply by email to (provide email address) confirming your name and your wish to unsubscribe.