Canadian Anti Spam Law – Fines Enforced

Business Law

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recently issued another notice of violation under Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL), this time against Plentyoffish Media Inc., a corporation offering dating services to nearly 100 million users, some of which are located in Canada. This notice was sent in relation to commercial electronic messages that did not contain a prominent, easy-to-use unsubscribe mechanism. After being notified of these violations, the corporation entered into a voluntary undertaking with the CRTC according to which the corporation agreed:

  1. to pay a $48,000 fine; and
  2. to develop a compliance program that includes staff training and changes to its policies

This fine is relatively small as compared to the $1.1 million fine issued against Compu-Finder:

  • Compu-Finder is a Quebec company that was fined for sending emails to consumers without their consent and not allowing recipients to unsubscribe from the mailings.
  • Apparently the company made no effort to change its business practices.
  • Complaints regarding Compu-Finder spam date back to 2008, well before CASL went online.
  • Essentially Compu-Finder disregarded CASL and was fined.

A general caution, the CRTC is taking violations and related enforcement very seriously. If you have any concerns about this legislation and how it may impact your business, contact a lawyer for counsel.

Paul Kennedy
Associate Lawyer, Corporate/Business Law
Lindsay Kenney LLP – Langley Law Office