If you’re like most connected Canadians, you spent a good part of the early summer answering e-mails from companies looking to preserve their relationship with you. Such was the requirement of the new anti-spam law that took effect July 1, compelling professional organizations to secure the consent of everybody with whom they wish to electronically communicate. It also prevents “spammers” from e-mailing texting, or contacting you through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, unless they’ve obtained express or implied permission.
The new legislation, as posted on a federal website, is succinct: “To send a commercial electronic message to an electronic address, you need the recipient’s consent, to identify yourself, to offer an unsubscribe mechanism and to be truthful.”
Spam, for those folks who’ve mercifully avoided its insidious reach in the electronic age, is the burdensome glut of advertising messages with which marketers crowd your inbox. This flood of outreach suffers an unfortunate reputation for being opportunistic, unwelcome correspondence. Unfortunately, the good stuff gets slopped in with the bad — including legitimate, well-meaning messages from FundRazr.
FundRazr takes the new law seriously. Diligently and dutifully, we ask our creators for permission to sign them up for news and product updates. And donors have an opportunity to follow campaigns to which they donated, and then to decide to subscribe to their ongoing news reports and status updates in response to our request.
But of course participants can still send e-mails to friends, family and people they know without any permission; a pre-existing personal relationship exempts folks from these requirements. Similarly, organizations and non-profits can send permission-free e-mails to any existing connections with whom they had relationships before the new law kicked in.
We are hopeful that those on the receiving end of our overtures haven’t regarded them as an ironic continuance of the spam, but accept the necessity of our efforts on this front (businesses that don’t comply face fines of up to $10 million) and have agreed to keep talking about these important matters. Without our contacts, after all, we wouldn’t be able to continue our oversight of the many worthwhile fund-seeking projects we superintend.
As a point of interest, note that a transition provision sees existing e-mail recipients presumed to have an established relationship with marketers, and so continued consent is implied for three years.