CRTC fines Compu-Finder $1.1 million for CASL violations

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is the principle agency tasked with enforcing Canada’s anti-spam law. Today they issued a Notice of Violation to Compu-Finder  including a $1.1 million dollar fine for 4 violations of CASL. The violations include sending unsolicited email and having a non-working unsubscribe link. According to the CRTC, complaints about Compu-Finder accounted for 26% of all complaints submitted about this industry sector.
This is the first major fine announced under CASL.
One of the first things that jumped out at me about this is the action was taken against B2B mail. There are a lot of senders out there who think nothing of sending unsolicited emails to business addresses. In my experience, many B2B senders think permission is much less important for them than B2C senders. I think that this enforcement action demonstrates that, at least to the CRTC, permission is required for B2B mail.
The other thing that jumped out is that given the extent of the complaints (26%) the financial penalties were only slightly more than 10% of the $10M maximum penalty. It seems the CRTC is not blindly applying the maximum penalty, but is instead actually applying some discretion to the fines.
I’ve looked for the actual notice of violation, but haven’t been able to find a copy. If I find it, I will share.


  1. Jean-Francois Nadeau says

    Those guys were real spammers according to this TV report from a Quebec media:

  2. Tobias Herkula says

    What is the difference between sending without provable consent and a real spammer?

  3. Atro Tossavainen says

    The “thinking less of spamming B2B” attitude is very common here in Europe, where many member states make such a distinction in their implementations of the 2002/58/EC directive, making it legal to spam B2B but illegal to spam natural persons, and implementing mitigative measures to the benefit of the spammer if the natural person can somehow be construed to represent a business.

  4. steve says

    There are many, many perfectly legitimate senders out there who don’t have “provable consent” who are sending mail that recipients asked for and are happy receiving.
    Being able to demonstrate consent is difficult enough for companies who’ve been mailing happy customers for a decade and have long since lost their early logs. Being able to prove it is a significantly higher bar still.
    That doesn’t mean they don’t have consent – they do, and they’re not spamming.

  5. CRTC fines Compu-Finder $1.1 million for CASL violations | casl cure says

    […] This has been re-posted to the CASL Cure blog with permission from Laura of Word to the Wise […]

  6. CRTC fines Compu-Finder $1.1 million for CASL violations | The CASL Cure Blog says

    […] This has been re-posted to the CASL Cure blog with permission from Laura of Word to the Wise […]

  7. What happened to Compu-Finder? – Spamtacular says

    […] Laura Atkins (2015, March 5), CRTC fines Compu-Finder $1.1 million for CASL violations. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from […]


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