Unsolicited emails and spam are annoying for everyone. CASL helps to address this problem and now provides a mechanism to actually do something about it. The article below describes how you can report a spam claim and how anti-spam will be enforced. While it may not address your situation immediately, the Spam Reporting Centre will be aware of it to use it in their wider enforcement efforts. It is still worthwhile to report spam. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at [email protected]
The Spam Reporting Centre is managed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) which enforcesCanada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). CASL is a new legislation created to address spam and certain provisions in theCompetition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Telecommunications Act. Industry Canada is the national coordinating body for CASL andfor the fightspam.gc.ca website (the website).
There arethree government agencies responsible for enforcing CASL. Once you report, the CASL enforcement agencies to not investigate every complaint but gather information for their enforcement activities.The three agencies responsible for enforcing CASL are:
- the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC);
- the Competition Bureau (CB); and
- the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) (referred to here as the “Enforcement Agencies”).
You may be contacted by one of these agencies and if you do not want to be contacted, you can submit an anonymous submission or indicate that you don’t want to be contacted in the additional details box. The information you provide is subject to the Access to Information Act. The SRC retains your information for a minimum of three years. If the information is subject to other enforcement agencies, then your information may be retained for 10 years.
It’s important to note that your personal information may be shared with the following:
- The various enforcement agencies (CRTC, Competition Bureau and Privacy Commissioner of Canada) pursuant to CASLand a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the enforcement agencies have with each other.
- Foreign state or organization (e.g. a law enforcement agency) especially when the alleged conduct is similar to conduct prohibited under Canadian law.
- Canadian governments, foreign governments, or organizations for a lawful investigation or upholding the law.
Privacy Rights When Submitting Spam
If you submit via the online form, you can voluntarily providepersonal information such as your full name, telephone number, email address. You do not have to supply this information but if you do, you’re giving permission to CASL to use and disclose this information. The Reporting Centre does not want any additional personal information. In fact, the CASL instructions to complete the online form specifically require you not to provide sensitive personal information such asyour date of birth, identification information (e.g. Social Insurance Number), financial information, medical information, or confidential identifiers such as system passwords. It’s important to note that the CASL still collects other personal information such asyour computer’s IP address, your email address, electronic communications you received, or information about websites or online advertisements that you were viewing. Your email address may also be routed through a third party organization but they won’t have any rights to review the contents of your submission.
The Fight Spam website (fightspam.gc.ca) indicates that the information will be used by the SRC for the following purposes (once submitted, Industry Canada will not have access to it, only the SRC):
- To gather, identify and store information on spam and other electronic threats, in support of the activities of the Enforcement Agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with CASL
- To provide training and technical support to the Enforcement Agencies
- To conduct quality control, including monitoring and audits, to identify and address security and privacy issues
- To provide statistics and reports to Industry Canada (using aggregated and anonymous information) on the CASL program and issues and trends related to unsolicited commercial electronic messages.
Industry Canada only uses the information for the following:
- To conduct statistical analyses for reporting and management purposes, e.g., to assess the effectiveness of the CASL program
- To conduct research into unsolicited commercial electronic messages and other electronic threats
- To prepare and issue reports on issues and trends related to unsolicited commercial electronic messages