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Companies should document anti-spam compliance efforts

With Canada’s new anti-spam law coming into force next month, there is a huge discrepancy in how larger businesses and their smaller counterparts are approaching compliance, Toronto lawyer Anatoly Dvorkin tells Law Times.

As the article reports, the new act “prohibits all unsolicited commercial electronic messages unless the recipient has given explicit or implied consent to receive them.”

“The Bells and Rogers of this world, who have the resources to throw at it, are well aware and devoting a lot of time and money to get ready,” says Dvorkin.

“They don’t want to be caught with their pants down. For smaller companies, it’s not even that they’re not prepared; it’s more they don’t even know this is coming. Unfortunately, for many, the first they will probably hear of [the law] is when they get a letter in the post saying they’re not in compliance,” he adds.

The same example applies to law firm compliance with the new act, as Dvorkin says most of the big Bay Street firms “have their ducks in a row."

“For small busy firms, they may be aware and they may not. Even if they are, they have enough on their plate getting their work done without worrying about [the new law]. I’d say the proportion of law firms prepared for July 1 is probably slightly higher than the rest of the business population, but they’re not doing much better,” says Dvorkin.

When it comes to complying with the new law, Dvorkin tells Law Times that companies should get informed and be sure to document their efforts.

“If you’re called on to defend your lack of compliance, it’s much better to be able to say, ‘Look at all this time and money we’ve spent to try to comply.'”

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