CASL Update: What You Need to Know for Obtaining Express Consent

Posted: July 16, 2014

iStock_000032943146Small_mapleleafAs mentioned in our previous blog “Canada’s New Anti-Spam Legislation: What Marketers Need to Do to Comply,” the regulations of CASL apply to all Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) sent from or received within Canada.

The new Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) creates a permission-based regime, meaning consent is required to send a commercial electronic message, including e-mails and text messages. While certain situations will “imply” a person’s consent to receive such messages, express consent requires an explicit agreement by the consumer to a specified set of disclosure requirements. The disclosure must be clear and conspicuous to the consumer and cannot be bundled with additional items such as terms and conditions.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has provided an opinion that a pre-checked box cannot be used to obtain express consent, meaning a positive or explicit indication of consent is required. The Commission has also noted that following receipt of express consent, confirmation should be sent to the person who provided express consent.

What to include with a request for express consent

When requesting consent, the following information should be set out clearly and simply:

  1. The purpose or description of the messages that will be sent;
  2. The identity of the person seeking consent;
  3. The mailing address of the person seeking consent;
  4. Either a telephone number, an email address or a web address of the person seeking consent;
  5. A statement indicating the person can withdraw their consent at any time; and
  6. Any other prescribed information.

If consent is sought on behalf of another person, that person’s information should be included in the disclosure.

The following is a sample disclosure we’d recommend in order to obtain express consent for CASL covered messages:

“You agree to receive Company ABC’S email newsletters regarding marketing tips and promotions. Our mailing address is 1234 street and our phone number is 1(800) 123-4567. You can withdraw your consent at any time.”

Let us know if you have any questions regarding the applicability of CASL’s express consent requirement to your business and we are happy to answer any additional questions you may have regarding this CASL compliance. Please reach out to us at consulting@compliancepoint.com. You can also find additional information through our recorded webinar located in our Resource Center.

Paul Gipson

Author: Paul Gipson

Paul Gipson, Managing Associate at CompliancePoint, is focused on U.S. and certain international direct marketing compliance regulations. He works with clients in a variety of industries and is dedicated to provide reliable and practical consulting services. Paul has earned a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, a Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP) certification from the Professional Association for Customer Engagement (PACE), and has a B.A. in Business Management with a focus on consumer economics from the University of Georgia. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, hiking, and spending time at one of the many parks in Atlanta, where he resides.

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