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Operators of Popular Online Dating Site, Plenty of Fish, Agree to Pay $48,000 for Alleged Violations of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)

May 19, 2015

By Jennifer McKenzie and Tamarah Luk 

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) investigated the online dating site, Plenty of Fish, following complaints from its registered users about commercial emails received in the first three months after CASL came into force (i.e. between July 1, 2014 and October 8, 2014). The users alleged that the emails failed to include a clear and prominent opt-out mechanism that could be readily performed, which is required by CASL.  The operators of the dating site remedied the situation upon learning of the investigation, a fact noted by CRTC in its press release about the resolution of its investigation.

Under CASL, CRTC has jurisdiction to discuss remedial measures with organizations, which can result in a formal undertaking that sets out amounts of any administration monetary penalties, as well as any corrective measures.  Here, the operators of the dating site agreed to pay $48,000, and develop and implement a compliance program, including staff training, to ensure compliance with CASL.

In the press release, CRTC reported that it is investigating a number of complaints submitted to the Spam Reporting Centre. CRTC encourages Canadians to report spam to the Centre, noting that the information received is used by the three agencies responsible for enforcing CASL: CRTC, the Competition Bureau, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

This is the second report of an investigation by the CRTC for alleged violations under CASL. The first resulted in a $1 million administrative monetary penalty for “flagrant violations”.  See Day of Reckoning: First Notice of Violation for Spam - $1.1 Million CDN Penalty.

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Author(s):

Jennifer McKenzie Jennifer McKenzie
B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.
Partner
416.957.1628  email Jennifer McKenzie