The launch of Canada’s anti-spam law generated considerable criticism suggesting that the law was unenforceable and would not have a discernible impact on spam. Recent enforcement actions by the CRTC and the Competition Bureau, which led to millions on fines, demonstrates that the law can be used to target businesses that run afoul of the law. Now a new study from Cloudmark, a network security firm, concludes that there was a significant drop in spam originating from Canada once the law took effect. Moreover, Canadians received considerably less email after CASL was implemented. Cloudmark states:
Last year Canada implemented one of the strongest anti-spam laws in the world, CASL. We took a close look at the impact, and the results surprised us. We saw a 37% reduction in spam originating from Canada, but it wasn’t just spam that went down. Over all, Canadians received 29% less email after CASL was implemented. We believe this is because there was a lot of marketing email which was not technically spam but did not meet the stringent requirements for affirmative consent required by CASL. The Canadian law is proving effective in reducing inbox clutter and could act as a model for stronger anti-spam laws in the US, UK and other countries.
Indeed, the charts posted in the full Cloudmark report are striking, showing a noticeable drop in spam originating in Canada and email received in Canada after CASL was implemented. It is still early days for Canada’s anti-spam law, but the Cloudmark report suggests that it is having an impact and touts it as a model for others.