Sorry to be all gloom here at The EO List today. It is the eve of my vacation and you would think that I would be excited but I am not. I’ve just spent a week dealing with CASL compliance, and I’m spent!
Let me first say I hate SPAM. You have no idea how much unsolicited SPAM I get and I am looking forward to the possibility of freeing my mind (e.g. my in-box) of stuff I never asked for in the first place. Literally, I’ve had a daily barrage of consent requests to deal with. I’ve thought about every request carefully and hope that after July 1st what remains coming into my inbox is BACON rather than SPAM. It feels like there’s been a hoarder counsellor at my door and 1-800-Got-Junk is now taking away the offending material. On the positive, I am going to be able to be more efficient! I am going to be able to manage my own connections better.
But there is a sad reality here. Most of the SPAM I receive is not from Canada, so I really don’t know how this is going to help.
I’m worried about the future. Is e-mail-based social networking in Canada that has any business context about to bite the dust? Further down the road once implied consent has expired, what happens when this week, in the flurry of inbox activity, I don’t accept your request to continue connecting, or to receive your newsletters or seminar invitations? What happens if you don’t accept mine? Did we just disengage? If I want to reconnect a few years from now, will you view my e-mail as SPAM and report me to the authorities?
I write about this in the context of, or for the benefit of The EO List. We are a network. We learn about HR jobs through friends. We share them. In the spirit of connection, some send their Friday e-mail to dozens of their friends. Bear in mind though, EO is supported through commercial activity. Given our previous informality (which was actually quite formal but didn’t have a double opt-in) that means we have to re-gain consent now of our current members and have to be clear about ensuring that our circulation doesn’t make it to unintended persons. This is so strange! But, we the folks at EO are HR Professionals, and law abiding citizens (and terrified of being fined over good intentions), so this just got a whole mess more complex.
Do you have any idea how much time and effort it has taken for us to get compliant? I’m not asking for a pity party, but seriously!
I have this vision of the future. You think someone is annoying and you lie in wait for their newsletter, and then you report them to the authorities and enjoy seeing them fined. We just gave jerks new ammunition.
Again, I really look forward to the possibility of a better-managed inbox, but we all ought to be careful what we wish for because the side effects are super strange.
I’m going to write about this again in another month or so. Maybe there’ll be greater clarity.
In the meantime, please, if you’re a network member, take the time to consent (pretty please with sugar on it!). We can’t continue e-mailing you if you don’t give us permission.