NO SUPPORT FOR SPAM
CRTC says it may toughen up its anti-spam rules and looks to ‘legitimate marketers’ to back them up,
Canada’s anti-spam rules are aren’t going away and if anything will probably to get tougher, the head of the federal broadcast and telecom watchdog said Tuesday.
“Legitimate marketers should welcome them,” Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chair Jean-Pierre Blais said at a Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) event in Toronto.
“They give you guidelines by which to ply your difficult trade and they help expose the scammers whose practices diminish your profession in the eyes of Canadians — the very consumers you’re trying to appeal to.”
Blais said the association’s support is critical in the fight against unwanted commercial electronic messaging which, along with potentially running afoul of privacy laws, can circulate hostile software to compromise sensitive information such as Internet usernames and passwords.
“We must continue working — together and on our own — to give Canadians what they have asked for,” Blais said.
“They’ve asked you legitimate marketers to comply with the terms of the unsolicited telecommunications rules and Canada’s anti-spam legisla- tion. And through their elected representatives, they’ve asked the CRTC to enforce those rules and that law.”
CMA chief marketing officer Tim Bishop said the organization is doing its best to promote understanding of the legislation and rules meant to protect consumers.
He suggested that compliance is a matter of self interest, in part because penalties for anti-spam violations range from $1million for indi- viduals to a maximum of $10 million for businesses.
Canada’s anti-spam law, which entered into force in 2014, requires expressed consent before businesses send commercial electronic messages and consumers must have a way to opt out.
Sections of the legislation related to the unsolicited installation of computer programs or software were implemented in January, making it illegal to install programs without a user’s consent.
In July 2017, the law will also allow individuals to bring a so-called private right of action in court against entities they allege have been connected with spam or malware and to seek damages.
Blais, meanwhile, said it’s too early to tell if TV service providers are fully abiding with the CRTC’s cable regulation implemented in March that mandates a “skinny basic” channel package capped at an affordable $25 per month.
Some consumers have complained to the commission over the value of the basic packages, saying that once equipment rentals charges are added and bundling discounts subtracted the prices may be higher than existing entry level offerings.
Blais said Canadians must be willing to negotiate terms with their cable, satellite and Internet-protocol providers and switch carriers if need be.
CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais says Canada’s anti-spam rules may get tougher and that “legitimate marketers should welcome them.”