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CASL anti-spam law confusing for small business: CFIB

As legislation comes into force, survey suggests many are unprepared

June 25, 2014   by PLANT STAFF

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.


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