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Effects of Canadian Anti-spam legislation on accessibility


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Jun 30, 2014 6:50PM

Greetings listers.

AS a part of corporate compliance for one of our clients I reently had
to take an overview lesson on the CASL, Canadian Anti-spam
Legislation, that comes into effect at midnight.
From what little I did learn it was clear that any type of email
correspondence is severely limited. Only direct replies to a direct
inquiry are allowed, and only a single one for each inquiry.
This effectively handcuffs anyone who wishes to have an email
conversation or thread to help resolve an issue with a Canadian
business, and limits back and forth communication with e.g. customer
service, to phone or mail only.
I may be misunderstanding something here, but based on what I learnt,
I feel like if I lived in Canada I am being taken back 10 to 15 years
in terms of accessibility and flexibility to communicate with
I prefer email whenever possible, due to the fact that I can copy and
paste facts, numbers and review images sent to me with a sighed
Phoe does not offer the same flexibility and I will not ever go back
to having to review bills and correspondance with customer service
agents by scanning my snail mail.
I would assume that messages sent to an online inbox on the company┬┤s
website are allowed, though the course that I took did not discuss
that scenario specifically.
I understand the frustration of spam and corr-advertizing, as do all
of us who have a computer and an email address.
But in my experience the benefit of being able to correspond via email
with business when the need arises far outweighs possible spam from
legitimate businesses.
I doubt that actual spam from those who are not would be caught or
prosecuted in Canada, as most of those IP addresses are located
I am curious if someone reviewed this legislation and its effect on
accessibility, and also glad at the moment that I do not live in
That being said, it is a great country, email communication aside, and
I wish all those wanna be northerners (I am from Iceland, the true
north), happy Canada day!

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