It's 2017 – in July you could be sued for $ 200.00 for that email you're about to send!

Remember a few years ago there was a lot of noise in the media about the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, a.k.a. CASL.

If you’re a small to medium business owner, you may be thinking, well that was a lot of noise about nothing. You would be wrong and you may be about to find that out in a very personal and expensive way.

In July of this year the “right of private prosecution” part of CASL comes into force. Until then, enforcement of CASL is left to the Government and while there have been some big fines (over $ 1 million) mostly, there have been a lot of requests to fix your email policies.

In July, individuals can sue for $ 200/email to a maximum of $1 million for individuals to $ 10 million for corporation. Officers and Directors are personally liable for these amounts.

I have no doubt there are more than a few individuals in our province who have quietly sat back, compiling emails for the past two years that are not CASL compliant and are waiting to issue their lawsuits and collect their “pot of gold”.

Thankfully, there is a due diligence defense to CASL. If you can show you have processes in place that are complaint with the Act, you likely will not have damages awarded against you.

So. The time to do a CASL audit is now: or you could wait until you’re sued, you know, if you would like to fund your lawyer’s Porsche fund. You decide.

Inga B. Andriessen JD