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Michael Geist's Blog

Class 3 - January 7, 2013


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Canadian Government Unveils Big Loopholes in Anti-Spam Regulations

Industry Canada unveiled long-awaited revised anti-spam regulations on Friday for the Canadian Anti-Spam Law. The regulations are in draft form and comments can be submitted to the government until February 3rd. Given the intense lobbying by business groups to water down the legislation passed in 2010 and the initial draft 2011 regulations, it comes as little surprise to find that the proposed regulations include several significant loopholes and exceptions that undermine the effectiveness of the law.  The key new regulations include:

third party referrals: the regulations include a broad new exception for third party referrals that will allow businesses to send commercial electronic messages without consent based merely on a referral from a third party. This issue was hotly debated when the bill was being drafted and, at the time, the government rejected claims that such an exception was warranted.  In the face of intense lobbying, however, the opt-in approach to electronic marketing is being dropped and replaced by a system that allows for unsolicited commercial electronic messages based on third party referrals.



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