March 30, 2021 - Private Sector

$75k Penalty to Individual Spammer Issued by CRTC

A penalty of $75,000 was issued yesterday to an alleged spammer by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for violating Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)’s provisions relating to commercial electronic messages (CEMs).

The CRTC issued the administrative monetary penalty pursuant to a Notice of Violation following an investigation into a series of high-volume spam campaigns and alleged violations of the electronic message consent requirement under CASL.

The CRTC investigated three campaigns through which the alleged spammer sent more than 670,000 CEMs without consent. Additional spam campaigns were attributed to this individual but were not investigated due to CRTC operational priorities.  

Details of this investigation and allegations set out in the Notice of Violation include:

  • Nearly 600,000 of the CEMs were part of an affiliate marketing campaign promoting online casinos through which the alleged spammer would be compensated by the casinos for new customers referred through this campaign.
  • The remaining approximately 70,000 CEMs promoted the alleged spammer’s own services for online marketing and webpage development.
  • There were over 670,000 records in the CRTC’s Spam Reporting Centre attributable to this individual.
  • A hailstorm-type spam technique allowed a high volume of CEMs to be sent in less than a week.
  • Evidence was gathered by the CRTC from a variety of sources, in Canada and abroad, and no records of consent were found.
  • While the investigation focused on three campaigns, corroborating information indicated that the alleged spammer may have been responsible for several million non-compliant CEMs.

This individual will have an opportunity to make representations before the CRTC regarding the penalty and the allegations set out in the Notice of Violation. He will also have the opportunity to enter into an undertaking with the CRTC in connection with the allegations.

For more information on CEMs and CASL, AccessPrivacy Knowledge Portal subscribers can review our Topic Hub, Electronic Messages (CASL).