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CASL stands for the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, a law that sets out rules for commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and the installation of computer programs. This law was introduced to reduce unwanted spam messages in Canada and protect consumers from fraudulent activities. CASL was submitted on July 1, 2014, and has since significantly impacted how businesses in Canada communicate with their customers.

TL;DR What is CASL?

CASL is a Canadian law regulating the sending of commercial electronic messages and installing computer programs. This law aims to reduce unwanted spam messages and fraudulent activities in Canada.


CASL is an essential law in marketing, as it sets out rules that must be followed when sending commercial electronic messages to consumers. Failure to comply with these rules can result in hefty fines and penalties, making it crucial for businesses to understand and comply with the law. The law also impacts marketing strategies and campaigns, requiring companies to obtain explicit consent from recipients before sending them commercial electronic messages. This means businesses must have a solid understanding of their target audience and tailor their messages accordingly.

Examples/Use Cases

  • A retail company that sends promotional emails to its customers must ensure they have obtained explicit consent from the recipients.
  • A software company that wants to install a computer program on a user’s device must obtain explicit consent before doing so.


  • Legal
  • Email marketing
  • Compliance
  • Privacy
  • Data protection



  • Canadian Anti-Spam Law


  • CASL

Key Components/Features

The key components and features of CASL include the following:

  • Consent: CASL requires businesses to obtain explicit consent from recipients before sending them commercial electronic messages.
  • Identification: All CEMs must identify the sender and provide contact information.
  • Unsubscribe: CEMs must include an easy and accessible unsubscribe mechanism.
  • Installation of Computer Programs: CASL requires businesses to obtain explicit user consent before installing computer programs on their devices.

Related Terms

  • CAN-SPAM Act: The US law that regulates commercial email messages.
  • GDPR: The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation sets data protection and privacy rules.
  • PIPEDA: The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, a Canadian law that regulates the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information in commercial activities.

Tips/Best Practices

Here are some tips for effectively utilizing CASL in marketing efforts:

  1. Obtain explicit consent from recipients before sending them commercial electronic messages.
  2. Include identification and contact information in all CEMs.
  3. Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe from CEMs.
  4. Keep records of consent and unsubscribe requests.
  5. Seek legal advice if unsure whether your marketing efforts comply with CASL.

Further Reading/Resources

Here are some additional resources for readers interested in learning more about CASL:


What is a commercial electronic message (CEM) under CASL?

A commercial electronic message is any electronic message sent to encourage participation in a commercial activity, such as buying or selling a product or service.

How can businesses obtain consent under CASL?

Businesses can obtain consent in a variety of ways, including through express consent (i.e., a clear and explicit request for support), implied consent (i.e., where there is an existing business relationship), and third-party consent (i.e., where a third party obtains consent).

What are the penalties for violating CASL?

Penalties for violating CASL can be severe, with fines of up to $10 million for businesses and $1 million for individuals. In addition to monetary penalties, violators may face reputational damage and legal action from affected individuals.

Does CASL apply to non-commercial messages?

CASL does not apply to non-commercial messages, such as personal emails or ions between friends and family.

What is the role of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in enforcing CASL?

The CRTC is responsible for enforcing CASL, including investigating complaints and imposing penalties on violators. The CRTC also provides guidance and resources to businesses to help them comply with the law.

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