Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

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Fortress Model of Security BrokenIf you have used email at all in your life, a constant burden that you’d have to deal with over the years is spam. ‘Spam’ are those advertising messages that come into your inbox from marketers. They are sometimes relevant but on the whole they are more of an annoyance to your daily schedule. To slow down, Canada passed an Anti-Spam Law that took effect on July 1.

A summary of the legislation, as posted on a federal government website, is straightforward: “To send a commercial electronic message to an electronic address, you need the recipient’s consent, to identify yourself, to offer an unsubscribe mechanism and to be truthful.”

How it works is that consumers file a complaint through the website. The complaint is routed to the Industry Canada’s spam reporting centre who classify complaints and send legitimate complaints to investigators. The investigators decide whether there is a violation and put fines into effect.

I’m not sure what this actually is meant to stop because many of us have sent messages that would be considered spam. While the words are straightforward, the language is vague. It’s burdensome on the sender and recipient of an electronic message as there are stipulations as to what is needed for consent. I’m curious to see how this plays out in Canada especially since spammers are not confined to borders (e.g. Nigerian princes asking for money). G’luck Canucks.

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