Society has many stereotypes about lawyers and some are well earned, but overall I don’t think we’re that bad.
As a lawyer for 21+ years, I’m used to people not being happy about some of the advice I have to give, however, never has the outrage been as loud and angry as lately, when I’ve been educating people on the new Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL).
This law regulates all Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) – this means all your business emails, Facebook Direct Messages, Direct Tweets and Linked In Direct Messages to name a few.
When I talk to people about this law they get mad. Truthfully, when I first heard about it I was mad too and talked about unplugging the internet from the firm. I’m over that now.
Business should be mad about CASL. Politicians need to be informed about how overreaching this law is: it needs to be improved. This law that was designed to improve the ease of use of the internet for commerce is going to make it harder to use the internet for commerce.
Why should your business care? Well, in 2017 private individuals can sue your business for $ 200/email that violates CASL. Oh, and officers and directors are personally liable for those Judgments.
So, you know that annoying customer you had a falling out with, the one who say complained about you to the Better Business Bureau? In 2017, that customer could lay in wait for you to violate CASL and then drag you to Court. Even if the monetary amount is not high, the lost productivity to Court time would be very frustrating.
Most of the legal discussions about this “private right of action” is the Class Action law suits that are waiting to launch: I think the more frustrating law suits will be the Small Claims Court law suits. “Death by a thousand cuts. ”
As a business person, get education about CASL. CASL is complicated and failure to comply could destroy your business.