On July 11, 2018, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued Notices of Violation under Canada’s anti-spam law (the Act or CASL), including administrative monetary penalties of $100,000 to Datablocks Inc (Datablocks) and $150,000 to Sunlight Media Network Inc (Sunlight Media).
Both Datablocks and Sunlight are in the business of distributing online advertisements. Datablocks owns and controls software enabling a fully automated auction process through which online ads are delivered. Sunlight, using Datablocks’ software, operates an advertisement network and serves as a broker between advertisers and publishers. The two companies are closely connected and share ownership, directors/officers, and a physical location.
The CRTC discovered evidence that some of Sunlight’s clients were using Sunlight’s network to engage in “malvertising”. Malvertising is the practice of serving “booby-trapped” online advertisements to install malware. Such an act is a violation of Section 8 of CASL. Since aiding in a prohibited act is also prohibited by the Act, Datablocks and Sunlight allegedly violated CASL as well. According to the CRTC, Datablocks and Sunlight violated the Act by:
Summary By: Jae Morris
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