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CASL anti-spam law confusing for small business: CFIB

As legislation comes into force, survey suggests many are unprepared


TORONTO — Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), coming into force July 1, affects most businesses sending any e-mails, text messages or messages through social media. But according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), only 15% of its members are fully aware of CASL’s requirements, and most (62%) have taken no steps to comply.

“Most small business owners don’t think of themselves as spammers,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly, “But under the new law, everyday interactions with customers and potential customers will be considered spam without a significant investment to document the right permissions.”

Among other changes, the new law will require businesses to seek consent to send business e-mails, keep a record of those consents, and to add an unsubscribe feature to every e-mail message. The required technological and process changes can be significant.

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As an example, a small business was told it will cost them $30,000 to $50,000 to be in full compliance.

“Businesses support the idea of reducing spam, but everything we’re hearing suggests that the current rules need to be made small business-friendly,” said Kelly.

CFIB members support a focus on education over enforcement, and providing exemptions where these rules are not workable, for example where businesses send a relatively low volume of emails per month.

Click here for tips from CFIB on implementing CASL.

1 Comment » for CASL anti-spam law confusing for small business: CFIB
  1. I’ve gotten really tired of 2 things:

    1) The government using kindergarten laws to deal with issues. Many of the laws are completely unnecessary and remind me of the kindergarten class where everyone is robbed of their recess (free time) because someone in the classroom broke the rules. Instead of using good detective skills, they attempt to flush out the culprit by imposing a penalty on everyone. In this case, every Canadian company is being penalized and forced to jump through hoops but the real culprits aren’t even in Canada. Kind of like the grade 3 student pulling a fast one in the kindergarten class and the kindergarten class being punished.
    2) Poor laws. Laws are designed to protect the public from serious issues. Our government is trying to placate people whining about too much e-mail in their in-box. If they are trying to fix the phishing and fraudulent e-mail issues, they have the tools already. The federal government should go fix their in-house problems and let people deal with the small stuff. A good law solves a significant, urgent and potentially life threatening issue, has a measurable outcome and is a net benefit to society. This law is nothing more than another mill stone around the neck of small business!

    Our politicians obviously haven’t got many serious issues to deal with if they are meddling in trivial issues of this nature. Furthermore, they do not understand the effect this will have on small business! Enough already!

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