With the imminent Anti-Spam legislation taking into effect in Canada on July 1st, a lot of bloggers (including myself) have been a bit concerned whether those who have subscribed to our blog fall under the “express consent” vs “implied consent”. Express consent is when the recipient has expressed consent, written or verbal, to receive your emails. The CRTC site has a great infographic that shows the differences.
I had contacted the CRTC to see if they could provide any clarification on existing blog subscribers, and this is the response I got back – which doesn’t quite answer my question but does classify our book blogs for us a little bit.
With our reviews & links, in a way it might be like promoting and advertising the books which in turn might fall under this “Commercial Electronic Message”, but according to their website, our reviews don’t really match their infographic on what some examples of CEMs are… Emails also need to have a clear unsubscribe link that’s easily accessed on each email that goes out. Thanks to WordPress’ system, as you can see in the screenshots, there are multiple access points to modify subscriptions/unsubscribe.
Personally, I would think our existing blog subscribers would be considered “express consent” because when someone clicks to subscribe to this blog, they are sent an email like such, asking to click on a link to confirm subscription:
So at this point, there is already two points of expressing consent. The initial action to subscribe, and a secondary confirmation click of the link. The new subscriber is then sent an email like this:
That being said, existing Express Consent is still valid after July 1, 2014. Which means that as long as our multi-step blog subscription process is a “valid” form of express consent, then we are okay!
One item of concern though is that since, as per above, if our book blogs are considered a “Commercial Electronic Message”, according to this page on the CRTC site, we would have to include our mailing addresses. I have emailed back to obtain clarification because I’m sure the majority of us would not be comfortable in putting our addresses on every email that’s going out to everyone! So stay tuned for what the response from the CRTC will be on that.
I understand their intent at cracking down on spam for the larger company masses, but I don’t think they took into account all the people who have blogs that talk about books, beauty, lifestyle,… anything! Anyone talking about anything online could be considered “promoting” and this really complicates and confuses things for the regular blogger.
Since I wasn’t getting the answers I needed from the actual contact point at CRTC, I thought I’d take it to the internet. Does anyone have any further insight into this to help clear things up for so many of us?
UPDATE 6/26: I received this response from the CRTC this morning when I asked for further clarification. It explains it a bit more than before and does state that it really is a case-by-case basis.