Compliance is important for any organization. It ensures their internal and external operations, services, and products are accessible to Canadians with disabilities and that their customers are protected from malicious activities.
There are three compliance legislations and standards that organizations should follow:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) – a set of standards that define how website content should be designed and published to be more accessible to people with disabilities, such as hearing, visual, physical, and more.
- Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) – federal law regulating spam and other electronic threats when organizations send commercial electronic messages.
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) – mandates that every organization in Ontario must follow accessibility standards and have an accessibility policy to make their company assets more accessible to people with disabilities.
There are penalties if organizations fail to meet compliance standards.
For example, starting January 1, 2021, the AODA requires that all public websites and website content must meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA standards. It includes all content dating back to 2012, including mobile apps that rely on the internet to operate.
By June 30, 2021, businesses must also file a compliance report.
Otherwise, maximum penalties under the AODA include:
- Corporations can be fined up to $100,000 each day.
- Individuals and unincorporated organizations can be fined up to $50,000 each day.
- Directors and officers of a corporation or organization can be fined up to $50,000 per day.
If individuals and organizations don’t comply with CASL standards, there will also be penalties and fines.
- Regulatory penalties of up to $10 million per violation for an organization.
- Penalties of up to $1 million per violation for every individual.
It’s important to do a comprehensive audit of your website, content, and all commercial electronic messages to meet compliance laws and regulations.
If you need help ensuring your digital marketing assets comply, contact us for help today.