July 15, 2014
Any business or organization using e-mail, text messaging or social networks to promote products and services needs to learn about Canada's new anti-spam law.

Once it is in force on July 1, compliance with the law will be mandatory.

The federal government is recommending the following steps to ensure you are in compliance with the new law.

Determine if your electronic messages are commercial in nature. The law applies to commercial electronic messages (CEMs) only. A CEM is defined as encouraging participation in a business transaction or activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit.

For all electronic messages you have determined to be commercial, you will need to obtain consent of your recipients, and keep records. The legislation requires obtaining express consent. Express consent means that a person has clearly agreed to receive a CEM before it is sent.

Consent may also be implied in certain situations, such as an existing business or non-business relationship. In all cases, ensure you understand the consent you have received from your recipients, and keep detailed records in case you are ever asked to prove that consent has been received.

Consent can be obtained either in writing or orally. In either case, the onus is on the person who is sending the message to prove they have obtained consent to send the message.

Identify yourself and anyone you represent in the message. Provide contact information including your business name, postal address and either a telephone number or email address.

Include a working mechanism that allows the recipient to unsubscribe from receiving additional messages.

Ensure that no part of the CEM is false or misleading, including the sender's identity, subject line, any Web links, or any other material part of the message's text or data.

Learn about the law at www.fightspam.gc.ca. The federal government has posted information about the law along with news, updates and valuable tips.