CRTC

 

June 2017

CEO Fined $10,000 For CASL Violations

The CEO of Couch Commerce (Mr. Halazon) was fined $10,000 for allegedly supervising the sending of emails without a proper unsubscribe mechanism. The opt-out allegedly either did not work, could not be readily performed, or took longer than 10 days to be honored.

In addition to the monetary penalty, Mr. Hazalon has agreed to implement a compliance program, including:
• review of current practices
• develop and implement policies and procedures
• develop and implement training for employees
• implement disciplinary procedures
• track complaints and monitor complaint resolution
• report progress and program changes to the CRTC
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2017/ut170612.htm
jbho: a reminder that company officers can be held personally liable for CASL violations.

 

March 2017

$15,000 For Spam Emails

A home based business was fined $15,000 for sending emails advertising a design, printing, and distribution service for commercial flyers, without consent, that:
• failed to identify the sender
• did not include contact information
• did not include a functioning unsubscribe mechanism
The CRTC launched an investigation based on complaints received at its spam reporting centre (58 complaints from 50 individuals).
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2017/2017-65.htm
jbho: surprising that a relatively small number of complaints would drive an investigation.

Also of interest is that the CRTC appears to have counted violations based on email ‘batches.’ That is, it cited 3 email blasts for a total of 10 violations:
rapanos
The $15,000 was reached by assessing $1,500 per violation. The commission cited lack of cooperation as a contributing factor in the fine amount.

Unfortunately, still doesn’t provide much clarity around how violations will be tallied once the private right of action is in force.

By my count, this is now the 9th CASL enforcement action. Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

 

$60,000 For Failure To Register As Telemarketer

Newspaper Call Center was fined $60,000 for allegedly making telemarketing calls for a client that failed to register with and pay subscription fees for the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), as well as allegedly failing to keep appropriate registration records.
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2017/vt170207.htm
jbho: don’t forget the procedural requirements

 

November 2016

Slow Month For The CRTC

Support Avenues – $25,500 for calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), failing to register as a telemarketer and pay subscriptions to the National DNCL
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/2016-441.htm
jbho: Remember, these fines are usually accompanied by an order where the company agrees to implement a compliance program to avoid similar violations in the future.

 

October 2016

$50,000 for B2B Marketing Emails

Responding to complaints received at its Spam Reporting Centre (http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/frm-eng/MMCN-9EZV6S), the CRTC fined Blackstone Learning $50,000* for nine campaigns consisting of some 385,000 unsolicited emails. Blackstone argued it had implied consent based on ‘conspicuous publication’ of the email addresses it contacted, but the CRTC felt Blackstone failed to provide evidence supporting the validity of its consents (e.g., addresses were not scraped). Moreover, the contents of the messages – advertised various training courses & offered group rates – were not necessarily related recipients’ professional roles.

*The initial fine assessed was $640,000, but was reduced due to Blackstone’s ability to pay.
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/2016-428.htm
jbho: A reminder that CASL covers B2B marketing.

B2B prospecting to non-scraped addresses should be permissible if the following three conditions are met:
1. the recipient makes his/her contact information publically available, or voluntarily discloses his/her contact information to the sender
and
2. the contact information is posted/shared WITHOUT instructions not to send unsolicited CEMs
and
3. the message is relevant to the person’s business, role, functions or duties in a business or official capacity
Remember that it appears scraping will invalidate any ‘publically available’ implied consent (PIPEDA Report of Findings #2016-003 on Compu-Finder’s $1.1M CASL fine)

Also interesting here is that the CRTC considered each campaign to constitute a violation, rather than each email. An important distinction for after 1July2017

 

$18,000 For 7 Telemarketing Calls

The owner of Home Improvement Companies Dynique Restoration and Victorian Restoration was fined $18,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National DNCL, failing to register as a telemarketer and failing to pay DNCL subscription dues.
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/2016-391.htm
jbho: Make sure you have consent to call, and don’t forget the procedural requirements.

 

September 2016

CRTC Racks Up $250,000 In Fines For UTR Violations

Two IT Service companies with common ownership were fined for violations of the Unsolicited Telemarketing Rules (UTRs). Highlights include:

  • Thee Future Web – $194,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), failing to register as a telemarketer and subscribe to the National DNCL, failing to identify itself as the caller, and failing to send a valid Caller ID number.
  • NextGen Webstore – $56,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), failing to register as a telemarketer and subscribe to the National DNCL, and failing to identify itself as the caller.

jbho: Remember, these fines are usually accompanied by an order where the company agrees to implement a compliance program to avoid similar violations in the future.

 

August 2016

8th CASL Enforcement (AFAIK)

Kellogg Canada has entered into a voluntarily undertaking for allegedly sending marketing emails without consent. In addition to a $60,000 penalty, Kellogg has agreed to implement a CASL compliance program, including revising policies and procedures, implementing training programs, tracking email complaints and complaint resolutions, and implementing updated monitoring and auditing mechanisms to assess compliance.
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/ut160901.htm
jbho: Remember it’s not just the fines, implementing the compliance programs cost money too.

By my count, the other CASL enforcements to date:

  • Compu-Finder $1.1M – unsolicited CEMs promoting training courses without consent and without a properly functioning unsubscribe mechanism
    • Later revealed they were scraping email addresses from the internet (PIPEDA Report of Findings #2016-003)
  • Rogers Media – $200,000 – sending mails without working opt-outs
  • Porter Airlines – $150,000 – sending mails without consent or working opt-outs
  • PlentyOfFish – $48,000 – sending mails with inadequate opt-out mechanisms
  • Anonymous – First Warrant and take down order (Dorkbot) 
  • Anonymous – First Action – cooperation to shut down spam ring that had compromised a Saskatchewan business
  • Avis (Competition Bureau) – $30M – sent emails with deceptive subjects and deceptive bodies

 

July 2016

CRTC Racks Up Over A Million In Fines For UTR Violations

Six companies were fined $1,233,000 in connection with robocalls allegedly made by and on behalf of Sirius. Highlights include:

  • Sirius XM – $650,000 for allegedly failing to identify the caller in prerecorded messages, for failing to provide a toll-free opt-out number in prerecorded messages, and continuing to call individuals who asked to be opted-out.
  • Raid – $500,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), and failing to ensure its clients subscribed (and paid dues) to the National DNCL
  • 9117-7683 Québec – $40,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), and failing to ensure its clients subscribed (and paid dues) to the National DNCL
  • Leads, Call Centers & Marketing Solutions – $30,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), and failing to ensure its clients subscribed (and paid dues) to the National DNCL
  • 8472416 Canada – $8,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), and for failing to keep records of its clients registration/subscription to the National DNCL
  • 9165-2602 Québec – $5,000 for allegedly calling numbers on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), and failing to ensure its clients subscribed (and paid dues) to the National DNCL

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1091989
jbho: Remember, these fines are usually accompanied by an order where the company agrees to implement a compliance program to avoid similar violations in the future.

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