The Spam Reporting Centre gathers intelligence to support the enforcement of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). If you are concerned about an activity that you believe may be in violation of CASL, you can bring it to the attention of the three government agencies responsible for enforcing CASL (the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada) by making a submission to the Spam Reporting Centre.
You will not be contacted unless one of the CASL enforcement agencies (the CRTC, the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada) requires additional information about the nature or details of your submission. The CASL enforcement agencies will not investigate all submissions, but the information you provide is an essential component of the intelligence gathered by the Spam Reporting Centre and may enable these agencies to target their enforcement activities.
For further information regarding how we collect, use, disclose and safeguard your personal information and how to exercise your right of access to that information, please read the Spam Reporting Centre Privacy Notice.
Privacy Notice Statement
Filing a submission to the Spam Reporting Centre under Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation.
Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) seeks to protect Canadians and Canadian businesses by creating a regulatory framework to combat spam and other electronic threats.
CASL also introduces related provisions within the Competition Act, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is the national coordinating body for CASL. Its role is to promote awareness of the law, to educate consumers, small businesses and other stakeholders, to coordinate work with the private sector and to conduct research.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is responsible for the fightspam.gc.ca website (the website) and is committed to respecting the privacy rights of the individuals and organizations who visit the website and who provide information on potential violations of CASL.
To assist individuals who want to submit information about (and provide examples of) spam and other electronic threats, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada hosts the online form: "Submit Information to the Spam Reporting Centre". Individuals who wish to report examples of email without completing and submitting an online form can do so through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The three agencies responsible for enforcing CASL are: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Competition Bureau (CB) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) (referred to here as the "Enforcement Agencies").
Spam Reporting Centre
The Spam Reporting Centre (SRC) is managed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
The SRC gathers information on spam and other electronic threats including commercial electronic messages sent to email addresses, including closed messaging platforms and SMS text messages sent to cell phones. The data received from online public submissions helps support the enforcement activities of the federal agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with CASL.
What information is collected and how is it handled?
All personal information provided through the online form, or otherwise attached or forwarded with the online form is collected by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
If you complete the online form and submit information concerning a potential CASL violation, you may choose to provide personal information such as your full name, telephone number, email address. This information is only collected, used or disclosed if you supply it voluntarily.
The online form may contain a text box where you can provide more detail about your CASL submission on a voluntary basis. If you choose to provide more information, please ensure that you do not include sensitive personal information such as your date of birth, identification information (e.g. Social Insurance Number), financial information, medical information, or confidential identifiers such as system passwords.
If you send an example of a spam message or other electronic threat with an online submission, or forward a piece of email to the email@example.com address, the SRC will receive further personal information which could include your computer's IP address, your email address, electronic communications you received, or information about websites or online advertisements that you were viewing.
If you are making a submission on behalf of another person, please ensure that you have their consent.
Although Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada hosts the website and facilitates the collection of public submissions, it does not access the data contained within such submissions and, therefore, does not use the information you provide to create individual profiles.
Email forwarded through the firstname.lastname@example.org address may be transmitted to the SRC through a third-party private sector organization appointed by the CRTC. The private sector organization appointed will be prohibited from examining the content of such emails as part of the contractual terms agreed between the parties. The private sector organization will not keep copies of email they route to the CRTC.
Information submitted in, or attached to, online submissions is transmitted to the SRC, as described elsewhere in this Privacy Statement, in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Why is this information collected?
The Spam Reporting Centre gathers information to support the enforcement activities of the federal agencies responsible for enforcing compliance with CASL and related provisions within the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Telecommunications Act.
If you provide your contact details in the online form and further information about the nature and details of your submission is required, you may be contacted by one of the three Enforcement Agencies. If you do not wish to be contacted, you can make an anonymous submission, or you can indicate this fact in the Additional Information box of the online form.
How will this information be used?
The information obtained from online submissions made to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada may be used by the SRC for the following purposes:
- To gather, identify and store information on spam and other electronic threats, in support of the activities of the Enforcement Agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with CASL
- To provide training and technical support to the Enforcement Agencies
- To conduct quality control, including monitoring and audits, to identify and address security and privacy issues
- To provide statistics and reports to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (using aggregated and anonymous information) on the CASL program and issues and trends related to unsolicited commercial electronic messages.
The information received on this form by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will only be collected and stored in order for the SRC to receive it. Once it is collected by the SRC, it will not be accessible by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
From time to time, the SRC provides personalized aggregated information to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The information received by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada from the SRC may be used for the following purposes:
- To conduct statistical analyses for reporting and management purposes, e.g., to assess the effectiveness of the CASL program
- To conduct research into unsolicited commercial electronic messages and other electronic threats
- To prepare and issue reports on issues and trends related to unsolicited commercial electronic messages
Will personal information be shared with others?
Personal information collected by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and passed to the SRC can be shared with other parties.
CASL allows the Enforcement Agencies to share personal information and coordinate enforcement activities with each other. Arrangements for the sharing and use of information are governed by CASL and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The Enforcement Agencies may access and copy information held by the SRC into their respective investigative and enforcement systems to perform analyses, in order to determine whether a possible violation of CASL has occurred. They may also share information with the SRC that they have obtained from other sources. If there are grounds to believe that a violation of CASL has occurred, the Enforcement Agencies may use the information to initiate various enforcement activities within their respective mandates to address the violation.
In such cases, the Enforcement Agencies may use the collected information to make determinations in cases concerning persons (including individuals or organizations) that are found to commission or send spam and other electronic threats to individuals or businesses.
CASL also allows the Enforcement Agencies to share information with a foreign state or organization (e.g. a law enforcement agency) when it is relevant to an investigation or legal proceeding concerning the contravention of the law of the foreign state in question, and the conduct prohibited by the foreign law is substantially similar to conduct prohibited under Canadian law.
Finally, information may be disclosed by the CASL Enforcement Agencies to Canadian governments, foreign governments, or organizations for the sole purpose of administering or enforcing a law or carrying out a lawful investigation.
Will I be able to access the information provided and can I correct any errors?
The Privacy Act provides you with a right of access to your personal information and to request corrections if you believe that your personal information is inaccurate or incomplete. For details of who to contact to seek access to your personal information, please see the section "Who can I contact if I have any questions?"
Where will the information be stored?
The information that you provide is temporarily stored on the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada webserver before being submitted to the SRC. The CRTC is responsible for the information received by the SRC. The collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal information for the purposes of handling online submissions and any related attachments in support of the CRTC's CASL investigation and enforcement activities is described in PIB CRTC PPU 777.
Personal information contained in submissions and other CASL-related intelligence imported from the SRC, or obtained from other sources, for the purpose of investigating and enforcing compliance with CASL are described in the Competition Bureau PIB IC PPU 034 and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner PIB OPC PPU 005.
A description of these and other banks of personal information held by federal government departments and agencies can be found in Info Source, a public directory of record and personal information held by the Government of Canada.
How will the information be protected?
All participating agencies are committed to protecting the privacy of individuals visiting the fightspam.gc.ca website. All personal information provided when you fill out the submission form is protected under the Privacy Act. The information you provide is subject to the Access to Information Act – however, your personal information will not be disclosed without your consent.
As we cannot guarantee the security of email, we recommend that you do not include sensitive personal information via email.
If you are concerned about the confidentiality of information, including your personal information, in transit, you should send it to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada by secure means, such as this online submission form.
The information you provide to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada when filing an online submission will be transmitted via an encrypted channel (a secure means of transmission) to the SRC.
Information obtained by the Spam Reporting Centre from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will be stored in secure systems and databases, within secure facilities hosted by the CRTC.
Access to the information held by the SRC will be restricted and only made available on a "need to know" basis to designated individuals within the Enforcement Agencies, for the specified purposes of the CASL program.
How long will the information be retained?
Information that is submitted by email will be sent to the SRC via a third party service provider who will not access the information at any time. Information submitted on the online form "Submit Information to the Spam Reporting Centre" will be collected by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will not access, use, or disclose the information in any way other than to transfer it to the SRC. This information will be held only until it is transferred to the SRC, for a maximum of 96 hours, after which time no information will be retained by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
Information submitted to the SRC using the online form or by means of the email@example.com email address will be retained within the CRTC PIB for a minimum of 3 years. Information held by the SRC that is subject to further enforcement action by the Enforcement Agencies may be retained within the CRTC PIB for up to 10 years.
Who can I contact if I have any questions?
Any questions, comments, concerns you may have regarding the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's administration of the Privacy Act, including those related to the Spam Reporting Centre's collection, use and disclosure of your personal information, may be directed to the CRTC's Access and Privacy Coordinator:
CRTC Access and Privacy Coordinator
TTY device: 819-994-0423
Toll-free: 1 877-249-2782
Questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's administration of the Privacy Act and privacy policies related to the department's web presence (including this website and the online submission form) may be directed to the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Privacy Coordinator by calling 343-291-2788, or by writing to:
Information and Privacy Rights Administration
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
2nd Floor, West Tower
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5
If you are not satisfied with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada or the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission's responses to your privacy concerns, you may wish to contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada by email or by telephone at 1 800-282-1376 (toll-free).
By checking the "I agree" box and clicking the "Continue" button, you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to the terms of the Privacy Statement concerning:
Specifically, you agree that Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will collect and transmit information, including any personal information that you have voluntarily provided to it, to the Spam Reporting Centre for the purposes of supporting the enforcement activities of the three Enforcement Agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with CASL: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Furthermore, you understand that any relevant personal information submitted within, or with, the online form or by means of the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address, may be disclosed by the CASL Enforcement Agencies to Canadian or foreign government or organizations for the sole purpose of administering or enforcing a law or carrying out a lawful investigation, as explained in the Privacy Statement.