An Act Concerning Unsolicated Comercial Electronic Messages | Bill S-235

The Senate of Canada is currently reviewing the Bill S-235, referred to as the Anti-Spam Act, presented to the senate by Senator Goldstein. This is somewhat similar to CAN-SPAM except for the fact that this is an OPT-IN email marketing law (PIPEDA also deals with opt-in for PII), and the US law is focused on opt-out.

The most important information about bill S-235 deals with how it would make the sending of Unsolicited commercial email (UCE) messages to Canadian subscribers illegal. Consent must be granted Prior to sending email communications to your subscribers.

Illegal activities under S-235:

  • Sending UCE
  • Address Harvesting
  • Phishing
  • Inaccurate subject lines

While the mandatory pieces of information that will be required are;

  • Valid contact information
  • and a functional unsubscribe facility

It is important to note that, S-235 also creates serious penalties for people caught spamming including; up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $1.5 million for repeat offenders.

This bill also empowers ISPs to take the necessary actions to effectively block spam messages and allow Canadians to seek damages from spammers in court.

Monitor the status of this bill, LEGISinfo.

In a later post I’ll discuss some of the exemptions and items I feel need to be reviewed by Senator Goldstein.

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

Matthew Vernhout is a digital messaging industry veteran and Certified International Privacy Professional (Canada) (CIPP/C) with nearly two decades of experience in email marketing. Matthew is 250ok’s Director of Privacy, and he is currently the Vice Chair of the eec, after serving for several years as the Chair of their Advocacy Subcommittee. Matthew was recognized as the 2019 eec thought-leader of the year.

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