Rogers Fined for Violating Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

crtc_logoRogers is the latest company to be nailed for violating Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) for issues surrounding its email unsubscribe mechanism.

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), emails sent by Rogers during a one-year period starting July 2014 – the same month CASL came into effect – had a faulty unsubscribe mechanism.

“During this period, the company allegedly sent commercial emails containing an unsubscribe mechanism that did not function properly or which could not be readily performed by the recipient,” states a CRTC press release. “In addition, in some instances, the electronic address used to unsubscribe was allegedly not valid for the required minimum of 60 days following the sent message.”

The CRTC also said that Rogers failed to unsubscribe recipients from commercial emails within 10 days of receiving notice. All in all, the violations have set Rogers back $200,000 in a voluntary undertaking to resolve the offences. Efforts include improvements to an existing internal program to ensure compliance with CASL, which is probably a good thing since it doesn’t seem it was doing a very effective job from the start.

“Companies must respect the choices of Canadians who do not wish to receive commercial emails, and must make it easy for them to unsubscribe from their mailing lists,” said Manon Bombardier, CRTC chief compliance and enforcement officer, in the press release. “We are satisfied that Rogers Media Inc. made the necessary changes to comply with Canada’s anti-spam law.

Today’s announcement is a direct result of the information provided by Canadians and we continue to encourage them to report suspected violations to the Spam Reporting Centre.”

And it appears Canadians have been doing just that. Since 2014, $400,000 in undertakings and $1.1 million in fines have been collected for violations of the legislation.

CRTC options to protect against unwanted calls

Stepping up in its fight against unwanted and spoofed calls, the CRTC recently published a thorough summary of options Canadians have to protect themselves from the nuisance communications. The list, which outlines the method of blocking and filtering calls by provider, was compiled from information provided to the CRTC direct from the telecom companies.

It is the first step on the CRTC’s quest to discover “new and innovative solutions” to combat unsolicited telemarketing and spoofed calls. Now the agency is asking any interested parties to review the summary of options and submit comments by Dec. 4.

The CRTC estimates up to 40 percent of unwanted marketing calls come from spoofed numbers.