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Anti‑Spam Legislation and Dalhousie

Posted by Legal Counsel Office / Communications and Marketing / Information Technology Services on June 26, 2014 in General Announcements

On July 1, 2014 Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and associated regulations come into force. The primary purpose of CASL is to control spam, which the legislation references as “commercial electronic messages.” CASL also prohibits the installation of computer programs without consent (e.g. viruses, spyware) and the unauthorized altering of transmission data (e.g. phishing).

CASL will have a fairly modest impact on Dalhousie given most electronic messages sent on behalf of the university are not subject to the legislation. Dalhousie is a public education institution established by the Province, and not a commercial entity. Messages concerning activities relating to Dalhousie’s core mission of education, research, and service (together with administrative activities that support them) are not of a commercial character and as such CASL does not apply to messaging regarding these activities.

For example, CASL generally does not apply to messages concerning academic matters; student recruitment; university fundraising; university athletic events and events connected to our core mission; continuing education courses; research activities; internal communications between faculty and/or staff; etc.
This does not mean, however, that all electronic messages sent on behalf of the University are exempt from CASL. Legal Counsel Office, with support from Information Technology Services, has already been working with several key university units affected by the legislation. We have also prepared an FAQ document and an accompanying decision framework for review by our community to help identify which electronic communications are affected by the legislation. We have also created a "how to" resource in the event your communication is subject to CASL and requires an unsubscribe mechanism.

Learn more about CASL and its application to specific types of electronic communications.