Similar to the “Do Not Call” list put forth by the Canadian government, there will be a new law regulating electronic messages in effect July 1, 2014. The Canadian Anti-Spamming Legislation (CASL) will be a stricter, and broader legislation that will deal with electronic messages that deal with the commercial industry and anything that encourages consumers to initiate in commercial activity. This includes text messages, messages via social media outlets, email, and voicemail including self promotion, sale of products/services, and even a request to send a message in the first place.
The legislation doesn’t just prohibit the individual who sent the message without permission but it will target anyone causing or permitting a message to be sent which could include real estate brokerages, marketing/advertising agencies, and internet service providers. The CRTC will enforce the CASL and monetary penalties can reach as high as $1M for individuals and $10M for companies.
On July 1, 2017, the final phase of the CASL will be in effect and any person/company affected by a CASL violation can sue for damages.
If you are reported as a spammer, your website and/or an email address could be instantly disconnected and may take weeks/months to get back online. You or your company could also be publicly identified as a ‘spammer’ which would no doubt hurt your reputation and significantly reduce the trust levels of your clients and the general public.
At the end of the day, CASL is intended to reduce virus and hacker activities as well as the flood of phishing emails sent from certain foreign countries. Just recently, an email was going around about an agent in our office that was stuck in some overseas country and needed money wired to an account immediately. Ya, sure. Or just like the one where someone needs your bank account number to deposit a large inheritance and you will be greatly rewarded. Uh huh. I’ll get right on that.
I’m all for anything that will help reduce the enormous amount of unsolicited messages that are sent each day, including to my own email account. In order to be compliant, an individual or company will have to obtain consent and a visible option has to exist to opt out. Consent is only good for two years from the time it’s initially given.
As a Realtor in Saskatoon, I value your time and I know that sorting through unwanted emails isn’t the best use of it just as it isn’t the best use of mine. I only send out emails that I feel have some value to the recipients and as always, you are easily able to unsubscribe at any time. If you feel that I am sending out messages that are unwanted or misdirected, please feel free to contact me and I will correct it in a timely fashion.
Saskatoon real estate agent
Century 21 Fusion