Breakfast cereal seller Kellogg Canada Inc. is voluntarily paying $60,000 to the government after violating Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), according to a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) notice posted on Thursday.

Kellogg, or a third-party service acting on its behalf, sent electronic messages to recipients without their consent from Oct. 1 to Dec. 16, 2014, an enforcement activity undertaking post on the CRTC website says. That followed the implementation of CASL in Canada on July 1, 2014, which requires that businesses prove either explicit or implicit consent from those they are sending commercial electronic messages too – namely, emails.

Aside from paying the penalty, Kellogg is committing to comply with CASL and ensure that any third party service it works with complies with the anti-spam legislation. It will review its compliance program and revise its written policies and procedures, as well as update its training programs for employees, according to the notice. It will also implement updated monitoring and auditing mechanisms to assess its compliance.

Kellogg declined an interview request from ITBusiness.ca, but made this statement available:

“We are aware and disappointed in our company’s alleged violation of Canada’s anti-spam legislation as it relates to commercial electronic messages sent by our third party suppliers on behalf of Kellogg Canada in late 2014. We are cooperating fully with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and voluntarily undertaking a number of immediate actions to ensure our compliance and that of our third-party suppliers. At Kellogg, consumers are at the heart of all we do, and we will continue to earn their trust and demonstrate a commitment to integrity and ethics each and every day.”

These actions by Kellogg fully resolve the issue for its compliance requirements, according to the CRTC.

This isn’t the first time a business has faced a monetary penalty over CASL. Since the anti-spam measures went into effect, several fines or voluntary payments occurred:

  • Quebec-based technology training firm Compu-Finder paid $1.1 million in March, 2015. Still the largest fine and the only one to meet the “egregious” violation classification.
  • Porter Airlines agreed to pay $150,000 in June 2015.
  • Dating website Plentyoffish Media Inc. agreed to pay $48,000 in March 2015 after problems with its unsubscribe mechanism.

Under CASL, a firm could face a maximum penalty of $10 million for sending emails without consent, and be open to civil litigation as well.

 

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