Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation
The new act would establish a regulatory framework to protect electronic commerce in Canada and would:
- address unsolicited commercial electronic mail (spam) by prohibiting the sending of commercial electronic messages without consent;
- prohibit detrimental practices to electronic commerce, protect the integrity of transmission data and prohibit the installation of computer programs without consent in the course of commercial activity;
- prohibit false or misleading commercial representations online;
- prohibit the collection of personal information via unlawful access to computer systems and the unauthorized compiling or supplying of lists of electronic addresses;
- provide for a private right of action for businesses and consumers;
- provide for extended liability (follow the money);
- allow the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Competition Tribunal Canada to impose administrative monetary penalties on those who violate the respective Acts; and
- allow for the international sharing of information and evidence to pursue spammers outside of Canada with our global partners.
The new act will be enforced by three organizations:
- The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will be able to investigate and take action, using significant monetary penalties if needed, against the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages, the altering of transmission data, and installing a computer program with computer systems and networks without consent.
- The Competition Bureau will address misleading and deceptive practices and representations online, including false or misleading headers and website content.
- The Office of the Privacy Commissioner will be able to take measures against the collection of personal information via access to a computer and the unauthorized compiling or supplying of lists of electronic addresses.
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