I am not sure if many of you are aware of this, but Canada is putting in a new anti-spam law that will take effect on July 1st 2014. This law is being put in place by the Canadian Government to protect the personal information of Canadian's from being shared online and to help control online spamming.
Just so you know, we will be sending out an e-mail to you all explaining that under Canadian law we have unsubscribed all Canadian users, or any user on a Canadian IP, from receiving automated messages. The e-mail will also include instructions on how to re subscribe to said notification if you would like to receive them in the future.
What sort of automated messages are we talking about?
This came up where I work so I had to get an explanation from our lawyer. The law deals with unsolicited messages of a promotional nature. It wouldn't cover a post here or a message saying that the site will be down for maintenance etc. (Edit: I believe certain forms of unsolicited advertising on social media are also involved).
As of July 1 a Canadian business (or other type of organization within Canada) can only send promotional (or solicitation) email to recipients that have specifically given consent to receive it. For example, marketing staff for xyz.com can no longer assume that you have given implied consent to receive email from them simply because you didn't uncheck a box that you never saw when you bought something online. In order for an organization to send you a promotional email of any kind they would have to get your permission first. In the future, to be added to a mailing list legally via website in Canada the website will need to have an un-checked box that you will have to find and then check (just one example of several ways it will be done).
Many businesses have been sending out emails this week asking people for permission to keep sending information (spam in most cases). As of July 1 they can't even send the email to ask permission.
I work for an engineering firm and though we don't spam the general public, we do occasionally send out promotional email to clients with whom we currently have or have had a working relationship with. This week we had to send out an email to every single one of them in order to get their consent to send any kind of promotional email after July 1. The law wouldn't cover things like sending an email to follow up on a potential business lead with a specific person who expressed some sort of interest. However, if I wanted to use a contact list to send an email promoting a course we're putting on or a new service we have in the future I need to have every recipient's prior consent to do so.
I wish someone does something about these automated phone calls 5 times per week:
"Our record show you have not updated your free Google listing...."
"Hi! This is Sharon, your friendly Google specialist..."
None of these are Google; but spammers trying to get you to pay to have your business supposedly pushed on top of Google search engines. No call registry doesn't work, as most of these originate from US.
I haven't been a member for very long - but can't recall ever receiving any automated emails either.
So does that mean that our new Toronto administrator needs to boot everyone off the system and that to gain access we have to accept automatic e-mails from third parties whose goods and services some marketing and data mining site thinks we might like? Geeze I hope not?
That said, as long as there is a big unsubscribe at any time button I'd sign-up.
This has been a very educational and enriching site. Thank you Jim!