IAPP-GDPR Web Banners-300x250-FINAL

By John Jager, CIPP/US, CIPP/C , CIPP/G

After much discussion and consultation on the accompanying Regulations, Canada’s anti-spam legislation is about to take full effect. While the CRTC had previously published its regulations on March 28, 2012, the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulation was finally published on December 4, 2013.

As of July 1, the majority of the act comes into effect, with the provisions dealing with unsolicited installation of computer programs or software taking effect January 15, 2015. Finally, on July 1, 2017, the provisions relating orders of the court and rules about contraventions and reviewable conduct come into force.

The act will be enforced by three federal agencies, namely, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). The CRTC has primary enforcement responsibility and will investigate and set administrative monetary penalties for violations relating to sending noncompliant commercial electronic messages, altering transmission data without express consent and installation of a computer program on a computer system or network without the express consent. The Competition Bureau will address false and misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices; e.g., false or misleading sender or subject matter information, electronic messages and locator information such as URLs and metadata. The OPC will enforce the act in relation to the collection of personal information through access to computer systems contrary to an act of Parliament and electronic address harvesting where bulk e-mail lists are compiled through mechanisms.

As their enforcement activities may overlap, the agencies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation, Coordination and Information Sharing (MOU), which sets out a framework for “cooperation and coordination among participants in relation to enforcement activities under Canada's Anti-spam Legislation” and “the treatment of information that is shared among the participants for the purpose of facilitating enforcement activities.” The MOU provides that the agencies will notify each other of their enforcement activities that may potentially affect any of the other agencies’ interests, and the agencies may share information in the course of such activities. Where any agency has identified possible overlapping enforcement activities, the agencies will “independently consider whether engaging in joint or parallel enforcement is appropriate”. As a default, the position is that the agencies will seek to coordinate their efforts, unless it would be inappropriate to do so. The MOU provides that if the commissioner of competition decides to pursue enforcement activity under the criminal provisions of the act, the commissioner will advise the other agencies of such a decision, and, as a result, “all cooperation and information-sharing with respect to that specific enforcement activity will cease between the commissioner of competition and the other participants.”

The MOU comes into effect on the date that the act comes into force.

John Jager, CIPP/US, CIPP/C, CIPP/G, is vice president of research services at Nymity, Inc., which offers web-based privacy support to help organizations control their privacy risk. He may be reached at john.jager@nymity.com.


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.


Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

Latin America Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from Latin America

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Get more News »

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Network and talk privacy at IAPP KnowledgeNet meetings, taking place worldwide.

Women Leading Privacy

Events, volunteer opportunities and more designed to help you give and get career support and expand your network.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

The Training Post—Can’t-Miss Training Updates

Subscribe now to get the latest alerts on training opportunities around the world.

New Web Conferences Added!

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Staff

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

Get Close-up

Looking for tools and info on a hot topic? Our close-up pages organize it for you in one easy-to-find place.

Where's Your DPA?

Our interactive DPA locator helps you find data protection authorities and summary of law by country.

IAPP Westin Research Center

See the latest original research from the IAPP Westin fellows.

Looking for Certification Study Resources?

Find out what you need to prepare for your exams

More Resources »

GDPR Comprehensive: Spots Going Fast

With the top minds in the field leading this exceptional program, it's no wonder it's filling quickly. Register now to secure your spot.

Be Part of Something Big: Join the Summit

Registration is open for the Global Privacy Summit 2016. Discounted early bird rates available for a short time, register today!

Data Protection Intensive Returns to London

Registration is now open for the IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive in London. Check out the program!

P.S.R. Call for Speakers Open!

P.S.R. is THE privacy + cloud security event of the year, and you can take a leading role. Propose a session for this year's program.

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

Exhibit at an Event

Put your brand in front of the largest gatherings of privacy pros in the world. Learn more.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»