Online educational platform OneClass agrees to pay $100,000 for allegedly violating Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

From: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Today, the CRTC announced that it has reached an agreement with Notesolution Inc. (doing business as OneClass) to resolve alleged violations of Canada’s Anti-spam Legislation (CASL). As part of this agreement, OneClass agreed to make a payment of $100,000.

An investigation launched by the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer alleged that OneClass failed to comply with various requirements of CASL. Between October 31, 2016, and March 25, 2020, the company sent commercial electronic messages to promote its platform, allegedly without obtaining the required consent from the message recipients. OneClass’ platform is used by post-secondary students to access student-created exam study guides, lecture notes and video tutorials.

OneClass also allegedly installed a computer program, namely the “OneClass Easy Invite Chrome Extension,” on the computer systems of post-secondary students between October and November 2016, without meeting the necessary consent requirements.

In addition to the monetary payment, and in order to promote compliance with CASL, OneClass will develop and implement a compliance program addressing the sending of commercial electronic messages.

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote compliance with CASL and provide further guidance, the CRTC has updated its Requirements for Installing Computer Programs guidelines.

Canadians are encouraged to report spam and suspicious practices to the Spam Reporting Centre.

Quotes

“We appreciate that OneClass took corrective action once it became aware of our investigation. The company has voluntarily entered into an agreement and committed to comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. All businesses must ensure their commercial activities do not jeopardize Canadians’ online security or disrupt their online activities as they participate in the digital economy. I’d like to thank the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia for their assistance with this investigation.”

– Steven Harroun, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, CRTC

Quick facts

  • OneClass has voluntarily entered into an undertaking with the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer for alleged violations of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

  • An “undertaking” is an agreement between a business or person and a designated person at the CRTC that may include conditions, such as the development of a compliance program and a requirement to pay a specified amount.

  • Payments resulting from the CRTC’s investigations are made to the Receiver General for Canada.

  • CASL protects consumers and businesses from the misuse of digital technology, including spam and other electronic threats. It also aims to help businesses stay competitive in a global and digital marketplace.

  • Since CASL came into force, the CRTC’s enforcement efforts have resulted in payments of more than $1.3 million, including penalties totaling approximately $730,000. In addition, $608,000 has been paid as part of negotiated undertakings.

  • The CRTC promotes and enforces compliance with sections 6 to 9 of CASL, which prohibit companies from sending commercial electronic messages (spam) without consent, altering transmission data in electronic messages without consent, and installing a computer program on another person’s computer system without consent, among other things.

  • The CRTC is committed to protecting Canadians and is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure that all entities follow CASL.

  • Information collected by the Spam Reporting Centre is used by the CRTC, the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to enforce CASL.

  • To protect your devices against online threats, consult the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

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