What is Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL)? - Definition from WhatIs.com


Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL)

Part of the Compliance glossary:

Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL) is enacted regulations requiring any individuals or organizations that send commercial electronic messages (CEM) to obtain express consent from all Canadian recipients. 

CASL was created to cut down on spam and, as a result, to reduce the frequency of phishing, viruses, identity theft and other cybercrimes. The legislation applies to all commercial messages transmitted through email, social media, voicemail, text and instant messages. CASL's opt-in model is more stringent than the opt-out model common in other countries, which merely requires that recipients can easily elect not to receive a marketer's messages.  

CASL went into effect July 1, 2104. The legislation mandates fines of up to one million dollars (Canadian) for individuals and 10 million for organizations. A three-year grace period allows senders to continue communicating with current recipients for whom they have implied consent. However, express consent must be obtained to send to new recipients; senders must also obtain express consent from current recipients within that time span. 

The American Bar Association (ABA) has called CASL "the toughest anti-spam law in the world." Critics of the legislation predict that it will cause a lot of problems for legitimate organizations without having a significant impact on problematic spammers, who are typically located outside of North America (which makes enforcement difficult) and are already non-compliant with any anti-spam legislation. 

This was last updated in July 2014
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD or Reg FD)

    - Regulation Fair Disclosure is a rule passed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that aims to prevent selective disclosure of information by requiring publicly traded companies to make pu... (SearchCompliance.com)

  • Freedom on the Net report

    - Freedom on the Net is an annual report on the extent to which people in countries around the globe can publish and access Internet content without undue restriction and have their rights respected. (WhatIs.com)

  • corporate performance

    - Corporate performance is a composite assessment of how well an organization executes on its most important parameters, typically financial, market and shareholder performance. (WhatIs.com)


  • Compliance

    - Terms related to compliance, including regulatory definitions and words and phrases about governance and mitigating IT risk.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.