There are three federal agencies responsible for enforcement of the law. Starting , there will also be a private right of action that will permit individuals and organizations to bring a lawsuit in court against someone who they allege has violated the law.
Canadian Enforcement Agencies
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
The CRTC is Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications regulator. The CRTC has the primary enforcement responsibility under the new anti-spam law and will be able to investigate, take action against, and set administrative monetary penalties for:
- sending non-compliant commercial electronic messages. An example of a non-compliant message is a message sent without prior consent.
- altering transmission data without express consent. For example, this prohibits conduct by which Internet users are directed to websites they did not intend to visit and includes other illegal activities that target Internet users.
- the installation of a computer program on a computer system or network without the express consent. This includes malware, spyware and viruses installed with computer programs, hidden in spam messages or downloaded through links to infected websites.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. The legislation enables the Bureau to more effectively address false and misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices in the electronic marketplace, including false or misleading sender or subject matter information, electronic messages, and locator information such as URLs and metadata.
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada protects the personal information of Canadians. The new law allows the Commissioner to enforce the legislation with respect to two types of conduct:
- the collection of personal information through access to computer systems contrary to an act of parliament;
- electronic address harvesting where bulk email lists are compiled through mechanisms; including the use of computer programs that automatically mine the Internet for addresses.
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