As of July 1, 2014, the majority of the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is now being enforced. While CASL is very similar to the current EU anti-spam regulations, it is said to be the world's toughest and most stringent anti-spam law. The law establishes strict requirements for sending Commercial Electronic Messages (CEM) where the sender or recipient is in Canada.
A CEM is defined as any electronic message, sent by any means of telecommunications, to an electronic address (e.g. email, telephone, instant message or any other similar account), intended to encourage participation in a commercial activity. CASL requires recipients to "opt-in" and provide consent to receive messages, except under certain circumstances and for specified exemptions.
We have been watching the progress of CASL since before it was originally passed in December 2010 and we wanted to make sure you were aware of these regulations and how Brainshark is responding to them. But first, it is important to note that I am not a lawyer and this post is not intended to serve as legal advice, or provide all the implications of CASL to you or your business.
If you have questions about CASL or compliance requirements, you should seek the advice of qualified legal counsel. The penalties for non-compliance are quite severe, and it’s your responsibility to comply with CASL and other applicable laws when sharing Brainshark or SlideShark content. Follow this link to the Canadian government's website about CASL.
What Brainshark customers should know
In response to CASL, Brainshark is taking the following measures with its products and internal operations.
Today, we can help you set up a standard email text when sharing a presentation with Brainshark On-Demand. If you have not revisited this in some time, it is recommended that you check the footers to ensure an appropriate unsubscribe message is in place. Please contact your site administrator or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
In a future release, we will provide you with greater customization of email footer capabilities when sharing a Brainshark video presentation to allow you to manage this message.
Within our own business operations, we are taking a number of actions to comply with CASL including:
Adding a specific opt-in check box to all our public web site forms when a Canadian address is entered, as indicated by the country field.
Conducted specific opt-in campaigns to Canada before July 1. If you are Canadian and would like to opt-in to our communications, you can opt in here now
Removing email addresses for Canadian names in our database that are not specifically opted in.
Requiring every employee to complete a training course on CASL and its implications and new required practices to comply. (Of course, we’re delivering this with Brainshark Rapid Learning so it’s quick to create, and easy to track and report on completion and compliance!)
I hope you find this helpful. If you have concerns about CASL, you should seek the advice of qualified legal counsel.