In practice I believe that Bill-C28 will be applied seldom, and then only at great expense against mega-millionaire spam kings.
You and I don’t need to worry about Bill-C28. The lawyers are interested only in people with lots of money, millions of dollars.
So Sleep easy.
But do pay attention to what is required, because if nothing else, it makes for courteous business sense.
“Bill C-28 ... requires recipients explicitly to opt in to receiving e-mails and other electronic communications rather than simply requiring that they be given an opportunity to opt out ...”.
Most commercial mailing list providers stress this every time you breathe in.
“If the sender of the message has done business with the recipient in the past two years, consent to receive commercial e-mail is implied. But since that implied consent now expires after two years, businesses that rely on it will now need a way of tracking their business dealings with people on their mailing lists and either removing their names from the list or obtaining their explicit consent to keep sending them messages before the two years are up.”
This is the more interesting paragraph.
My accountant says “Business is the exchange of two pieces of paper, one of which must be a cheque”, so in theory many of the people to whom I send an occasional email could have me chased by The Feds.
Even if I have supplied them with goods and services “that implied consent now expires after two years” so I ought to be confirming, every two years, that it’s still OK to communicate by email.
How to do that? Well, having lunch every two years as a minimum ought to be a good time to ask if it’s OK to send occasional emails.
“businesses ...will now need a way of tracking their business dealings with people on their mailing lists “. Well, for sure. But shouldn’t we be doing that anyway? Keeping track of each contact, with a time-stamp of each communication, whether we phoned, left a voice-mail, mailed a letter, met for coffee, and so on. How else would you know which contacts are getting attention?
“... removing their names from the list or obtaining their explicit consent to keep sending them messages.” Again to my mind this is a no-brainer.
The strict letter of the law may find a nit-picking loop-hole, but long before it gets to court, the CEO is going to have the executive assistant ask you to stop mailing postcards; they don’t have time to take you to court.
And any judge would laugh at the suit.
P.S. Here’s a simplified view of the bill.