Today the FTC announced that it is undertaking a review of its CAN-SPAM Rule, which sets out the requirements for sending commercial e-mail messages.  Among other things, the CAN-SPAM Rule requires that senders of commercial e-mails provide recipients a mechanism to opt out of receiving commercial e-mails, honor opt-out requests within 10 business days,

By Lala Qadir

Canada’s telecommunications regulator, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), issued its first fine under a new anti-spam law.  The CRTC alleged that Compu-Finder sent users emails without acquiring their consent and did not provide a way for consumers to unsubscribe from the emails.   Compu-Finder has 30 days to submit written representations to the CRTC or pay the penalty.  It can also request an “undertaking” with the CRTC on this matter.

Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), which came into effect on July 1, 2014, businesses are required to obtain explicit consent from users prior to sending them commercial electronic messages.  Prior to this law, companies relied on implied consent to assume that consumers consented to communications by providing them an email address.   Additionally, CASL prohibits making false or misleading representations in electronic communications and collecting personal information without consent.
Continue Reading Compu-Finder Subjected to $1.1M Penalty, First Fine Under Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law

On January 22, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council proposed guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by depository institutions.  The proposed guidance would not impose additional compliance obligations on institutions.  Instead, the guidance is intended to help financial institutions understand potential consumer compliance, legal, reputation, and operational risks associated with the use of social media, along with expectations for managing those risks. 

The proposed guidance defines “social media” as “a form of interactive online communication in which users can generate and share content through text, images, audio, and/or video.”  The FFIEC warns that social media can impact a depository institution’s risk profile by increasing the risk of harm to consumers, compliance and legal risk, operational risk, and reputational risk. 


Continue Reading FFIEC Proposes Social Media Guidance

A federal district court in Michigan recently held that the federal CAN-SPAM Act preempts Michigan’s anti-spam law.  Unlike the federal law, Michigan’s statute offers individuals who receive unsolicited commercial email, or “spam,” a private cause of action.  The decision, by Judge Janet T. Neff of the Western District of Michigan in Hafke v. Rossdale

After much mulling, the Canadian Parliament passed, on December 16, Bill C-28, the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act, which creates a new regime for businesses engaged in online marketing.  The legislation regulates commercial “electronic messages,” a term defined broadly to include e-mail, instant messaging, text messages, and messages on “any similar account” —