CASL Countdown: Week 11 – Identification and Data

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requires that proper identification and notifications be supplied to potential recipients of commercial electronic messages at the time of subscription to qualify for proper express and implied consents. As a reminder these include; postal address, privacy policy, contact information (phone, email or contact form) and a statement about unsubscribing from future communications. As an extension to our Week 15 tasks, we are now going to get some more of the details around data collection and where you are getting your records from. Hopefully you have already identified all the input sources and have they readily available to review for this weeks tasks.

Data Collection review:

Start by walking yourself through the various processes your organization uses when collecting data (do this the same way your clients/subscribers would…). Visit store locations, Call in to the call center, fill in the web forms (your own and your partners if you use any for data collection), reach out to your social accounts and review ballots from events or contests.

As you make your way through the data collection process of each of these resources, ask yourself these types of questions;

      1- Did I see the prescribed information?
      2- Was the opt-in language presented in a clear and easy to understand way? Was the box pre-checked or unchecked, or buried in a TOS?
      3- What was the data flow process to get my account created?
      4- Did I get the proper welcome messages or on boarding emails? How long did they take?

Use this test to confirm your data collection practices are easy to follow and working as expected. Be sure to note any deficiencies for the presentation of the required information during each of these various subscription channels and start to think about ways to address these.

Here are a few ideas to get you started;

      POS – place a sticker or card placed at each register with the required information that will be easy to see and read while completing the transaction, also consider printing this information on the receipt so the customer has a copy when they leave the store
      Web forms – Consider a subscription center/profile page for consumers, events and ballot pages – update paper to include the new requirements or make them electronic when possible
      Fishbowl – put a sign/sticker on the out side of the bowl, note what trade show/event these cards were collected at and the date

For any of these channels building a drip welcome program would also be highly recommended. This give you a chance to reaffirm the subscription, confirm the recipient and repeat the required information one more time to the subscriber.

Where are the master records?


While we are talking about different locations of data collection, it would be prudent to also think about Data location. Many companies have data in multiple locations; Internal/external data warehouse, call center/ESP/Agency, possibly even in an eCommerce platform or other SAAS vendor solution. Identifying the Master records and ensuring that all other records are properly synchronizing with this one records will become a key compliance item under CASL, as you will need to be able to properly manage communication preferences across all of these channels. Tracking proof of consent, type of consent and source of consent should also be added to this master record for easy of tracing should you ever be asked to provide roof of consent for a specific records or group of records.

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

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