Plenty of Fish have been hit with a $48,000 fine for breaking Canadian anti-spam laws.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced today that the fine came after an investigation following complaints from Canadian customers.
Plenty of Fish allegedly sent emails to registered users which had an unsubscribe mechanism that was not clearly and prominently set out.
The anti-spam legislation requires the unsubscribe feature to be easily accessible and quick to complete.
The emails notified registered users of the various services available on the site, and were sent between July 1st 2014 and October 8th 2014.
The situation arose because new anti-spam legislation came into force on July 1st 2014, and Plenty of Fish’s emails did not comply to the new rules and regulations.
Once notified of the violation, Plenty of Fish paid the fine and changed their unsubscribe mechanism so it complied with the legislation.
The CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, Manon Bombardier said: “Prior to the coming into force of Canada’s anti-spam law, the CRTC conducted numerous outreach sessions and issued guidance material on interpretation of the new requirements. Plentyoffish Media erred by sending commercial electronic messages to its registered users with unsubscribe mechanisms that were not in compliance with the law.
“This case is an important reminder to businesses that they need to review their unsubscribe mechanisms to ensure they are clearly and prominently set out and can be readily performed. We appreciate that Plentyoffish Media changed its practices once it became aware of the problem. The CRTC encourages Canadians to continue to report suspected violations to the Spam Reporting Centre.”
Plenty of Fish have also implemented a compliance program, including training and education of staff regarding the anti-spam legislation.
The CRTC say they are assessing all complaints submitted to their Spam Reporting Centre, and have a number of investigations underway.
Find out more about the guidelines for the anti-spam legislation here, and watch a short video about the new laws below: