D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Seriously, Screw CASL

Monday, June 30, 2014 5:00 PM

Legislation will go into effect July 1st restricting who businesses can contact via email, or direct messaging on social media sites, to only those that “opt in”. I’m sure the politicians think this is a fantastic win for consumers and will go far to eliminate unwanted email. Of course, they’re politicians which means they live in a realm far removed from reality.

Then you have the businesses themselves who are just reminded of all this a few weeks/months ago (even though, yes, this technically had been known about for much longer). Now everyone is freaking out trying to understand the rules because, since politicians wrote them up, they’re confusing and unclear.

Take the Edmonton Humane Society who is trying to contact its more than 50 thousand individuals that it sends information to on a regular basis. Wait…but aren’t they a charity? Aren’t they exempt? As their director explains in this CBC story, its “not entirely clear how exempt they are” with both CRTC and lawyers saying they “can’t interpret the legislation for them”.

Let that sink in. Politicians have made this law. CRTC is in charge of enforcing it. But there’s no history, no actual application of the law for anyone to really know whether those million-dollar fines will ever be a reality or not. And all the while criminals who are sending phishing attacks and other email scams will continue on.

The CRTC has already said they’re understaffed to manage the expected hundreds of complaints sent in PER DAY.

I think firming up the rules around needing a proper un-subscribe method is good. I don’t think pushing the penalties ahead of how the CRTC will act is wise. And honestly everyone is in worst-case mode because we haven’t seen this law applied in court. We need precedent before knowing whether CASL has teeth or not.

In the meantime, Canadian businesses bare the burden of decisions made in that alternate reality called Parliament Hill. Screw CASL.


# re: Seriously, Screw CASL

Don't understand estimate how cumbersome this law is. If I meet a customer who gives me a business card and asks me to email him product info, I need to scan and upload his card and save it to his file on our server. If I am on the phone with a customer, I am supposed to record him giving me permission to send him a email, then upload that. This might be ok if it only applied to things like mass emails. 6/30/2014 5:59 PM | Ryan

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