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CRTC issues million dollar spam penalty

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has issued a penalty of $1.1 million dollars to Compu-Finder, corporate training company based in Morin-Heights, QC, for violations of Canada's anti-spam law. According to the CRTC, its investigation found that the company sent commercial emails promoting its training courses without the recipient's consent, as well as emails in which the unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly. The relevant violations occurred between July and September 2014. Again according to the CRTC, spam from Compu-Finder account for 26% of all complaints submitted to its Spam Reporting Centre. Compu-Finder has 30 days to submit a written response to the CRTC or pay the penalty. It can also request an undertaking with the CRTC to address the situation.

"Prior to the coming into force of the anti-spam law, the CRTC conducted numerous outreach initiatives to increase the awareness of businesses on the new requirements," said Manon Bombardier, chief compliance and enforcement officer at the CRTC. "Creating a secure online environment for Canadians is also the responsibility of industry. Despite the CRTC's efforts, Compu-Finder flagrantly violated the basic principles of the law by continuing to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages after the law came into force to email addresses it found by scouring websites. Complaints submitted to the Spam Reporting Centre clearly indicate that consumers didn't find Compu-Finder's offerings relevant to them. By issuing this notice of violation, my goal is to encourage a change of behaviour on the part of Compu-Finder such that it adapts its business practices to the modern reality of electronic commerce and the requirements of the anti-spam law. We take violations to the law very seriously and expect businesses to be in compliance."

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