CRTC issues $250,000 in penalties to combat malicious online advertising
“As a result of Datablocks and Sunlight Media’s failure to implement basic safeguards, simply viewing certain online ads may have led to the installation of unwanted and malicious software. Our enforcement actions send a clear message to companies whose business models may enable these types of activities. Businesses must ensure their commercial activities do not jeopardize Canadians’ online safety. ”
- Steven Harroun, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Datablocks and Sunlight Media operate in the online advertising industry. Online advertisements are one of the leading sources for malware distribution.
Most online advertisers use ad networks to distribute their ads on websites.
Sunlight Media, the ad network, uses Datablocks’ bidding platform to operate as a broker between advertisers and publishers.
This highly complex investigation included the use of the CRTC’s formal powers, such as the execution of a search warrant, and consultation with experts in the field of cybersecurity.
The CRTC is working with its partners, both within Canada and internationally, to protect Canadians from online threats and contribute to a more secure online environment.
Canada’s anti-spam law protects Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.
The CRTC will continue to provide guidance and assistance to stakeholders to help them comply with Canada’s anti-spam law.
Canadians are encouraged to report spam to the Spam Reporting Centre. Their submissions helps support the enforcement activities of the federal agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with the legislation.
Since Canada’s anti-spam law came into force, enforcement efforts have resulted in payments of over $568,000 further to undertakings and penalties totaling over $1.75 million.
In Canada, toll-free: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
Outside Canada: 819-997-0313
In Canada toll-free: 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
Outside Canada: 819-994-0423
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