Canadian Marketing Association Attacks Anti-Spam Bill

With the final Industry Committee review of C-27, Canada's anti-spam legislation, set for Monday afternoon, lobby groups have been increasing the pressure all week in an effort to water down many of the bill's key protections.  Yesterday, the Canadian Marketing Association chimed in with an emergency bulletin to its members calling on them to lobby for changes to the bill.  While the CMA was very supportive of the bill when it appeared before the committee in June, it now wants to kill the core protection in C-27 – a requirement for express opt-in consent. 

The use of express opt-in consent is consistent with the experience in countries such as Australia and Japan, who have found that either opt-out (the customer must request off the list) or implied opt-in (the business assumes it has consent based on other factors) is ineffective and prone to abuse.  C-27 includes many exceptions (business-to-business, all non-commercial email among them) to protect businesses, but without an express opt-in approach as the default, the law's effectiveness will be severely undermined.  While the CMA did not even raise the issue in June, now it wants the bill changed, seeking reforms that would allow for implied consent, particularly where the information is less sensitive.  The CMA argues that it needs the reforms to allow marketers to rent lists of potential customers, yet C-27 does nothing to stop renting lists with customer names who have opted-in.  Instead, the CMA's change would eviscerate a key foundation of the bill by opening a huge loophole in the consent provisions.

How to respond?  As I noted earlier in the week, if Canadians want an anti-spam bill with some teeth, they are going to have to fight for it.  Consider writing to Industry Minister Tony Clement, your MP, or the members of the Industry Committee today asking them to support C-27 with an opt-in approach.  The members of the committee include:


  1. What is your source for this story?

  2. Michael Geist says:

    To Malcolm
    I have seen a copy of the CMA bulletin that went to members yesterday afternoon.

  3. But of Course
    lol this figures. These are the same people who didn’t want the “do not call list”, and also the same people who told their members to ignore Prof. Geists IoptOut, even after the CRTC said it was to be honoured (I received the memo on that one last year).

    So this is no surprise at all, it was expected.

    Has anyone written anything to their MP or the Industry Minister they wish to share?

  4. Devil's Advocate says:

    Being Heard…
    “Has anyone written anything to their MP or the Industry Minister they wish to share?”

    I’ve been doing just that, and have since given up the idea.

    Clement et al have effectively demonstrated they’re not interested in what The People have to say on any of these matters we’ve been beating around for the last few years. Everything the entire Canadian Government does revolves around the lobbies.

    This shouldn’t really surprise anyone at this point, anyway, considering they’ve long been using the back side of our Constitution as scratch paper for things like SPP, NAU talks, Bilderburg meetings and all the other NWO activities they claim are just figments of our imagination.

    And, when you think about, why should they care about those who elected them?! Since they’re all gung-ho about having the continent run by an appointed (unelected) adminstrative body from the Corporate Elite, what purpose would there be in asking us what we think??

    People keep ignoring this stuff, probably because they don’t hear a whole lot about it (the MSM certainly has a complete black-out on it), and with that kind of limited knowledge, it more likely looks like some kind of “conspiracy theory”. But, if you look at all that has been going on over the last few decades…

    – The secret “trade talks” (NAFTA, SPP)
    – Other secret meetings between The Elite, our government and corporate interests (Bilderburg, ACTA)
    – Armed American soldiers not only on American civilian land, but on CANADIAN soil (Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Montebello, Montreal)
    – Our “automatic” involvement in a war, in which our Government can’t even show the justification or exit strategy for, that’s. (Was the little matter of 9/11 ever properly resolved?!)

    With shit like this going on behind the curtain, and considering the people involved, what chance do you have of being heard over the “available channels” on issues were corporate interests are pulling the opposite way from where the People feel they should go?

  5. Here is what I sent, on the off chance that you may wish to copy and paste a protest letter.
    I am writing to you today to express my deep dissatisfaction, and protest the proposed changes to C-27 which would violate Canadians internet privacy, the security of their data, and their right to chose how to use their own property.

    Today I learned that changes are being considered for the new copyright law (C-27 bill, Section 7(1)(b)) It is important that Canadians digital rights, property and information are not violated by changes or influence of any party or corporation. Collecting personal information without consent, or knowledge, of the individual SHOULD NOT be permitted without just cause, and only after a warrant is issued by the proper judicial authority.

    No company should be allowed to install software on privately held computers without the owners consent. It is important that Canadians must be asked before software is installed creating a legal contract, especially in cases where such software may violate the functionality and security of a persons computer systems and data.

  6. steller's jay says:

    Thank you, Michael, and Dave E
    Sometimes my anger at the duplicity of our elected representatives renders me almost speechless. Thank you, Dave, for kick-starting me with your sample text, and Michael, for what you continue to do to inform us.

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