Time for a CASL Check Up

Some of the dust kicked up during the stampede to comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has settled. In October, Ipsos released survey results showing that most Canadians are aware of the legislation and that they are taking advantage of it.

David Canton has published excellent commentary and practical advice regarding the legislation, which came into effect on July 1, 2014. Judging from discussions with clients and colleagues post-implementation, most compliance campaigns helped firms clean up their databases and wrangle administrative procedures. Although, some in-house marketers and administrative staff might still be recovering from the process….

Ipsos conducted the survey on behalf of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). The results probably won’t surprise most Slaw.ca readers:

  • 67% of Canadians have taken advantage of CASL to select the organizations that they want to continue receiving electronic communications from
  • Middle-aged and senior Canadians are most likely to take advantage of subscription options. (Perhaps because we’re the only ones who seem to use email anymore?)
  • 64% of respondents are confident that CASL will reduce email inbox congestion.

If you have a nagging feeling that you should check in with everyone in your firm regarding compliance procedures, this is a good time to do so. It’s too easy to revert into old habits. Also, the holidays are approaching, which brings the inevitable pressure to connect and reconnect via electronic means. Better to be safe than sorry.

Check the integrity your contact list. Audit individual email disclaimers for the required “unsubscribe” link. Ensure that your newsletter subscription sign-up, client surveys and intake forms still have the correct wording (i.e. no one has creatively altered it).

Have a brief conversation with everyone in your firm regarding their understanding of CASL compliance perceptions and procedures.

If you’re not sure where to start and/or if you’re in a smaller firm, spend some time researching some of the online material published by the larger Canadian law firms regarding CASL. Most are written in plain language and are quite useful.


  1. In other CASL news:

    – I’m still getting as much unsolicited email as ever, including both law-related emails and porn/pharmaceutical/etc. emails
    – last weekend I (along with apparently every other Manitoba lawyer) got a deranged email from anothern member of the Manitoba bar about a lawsuit he’s personally involved in.

    Meanwhile, we’re tying ourselves in knots over our Christmas card list.

    How’s CASL working out so far?

  2. Thanks Mike. I’m still receiving as much spam as ever too. Maybe more than before July 1. As usual, it isn’t traceable or easily blocked. As for the holiday card list, I wish you luck. I suspect we’ll see more firms revert to good old Canada Post combined with generic greetings on firm social media profiles.