New Canadian Antispam Law Hits Violating Companies With $10M Fines

Rhett Pardon

OTTAWA — A new antispam law went into effect on Tuesday in Canada requiring email senders to verify that they have the recipient’s consent.

Regulators note that the rules apply to senders in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world who want to communicate with Canadians through email for any service or product — not just sexually explicit material.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission said that consent can come in two ways — implied or express. When it is implied, a company can assume consent if they have an existing documented relationship with the recipient.

With the new opt-in law, which will be phased in over three years, sending just one commercial email without permission could result in fines of up to $1 million (Canadian) for individuals and up to $10 million (Canadian) for companies.

After three years of implementation, the law will make it be possible for individuals and class-action groups to sue companies, organizations and directors for sending spam.