Go Canada: Now ILLEGAL to auto-update software without 'consent'

But, but... permissionless tech, mutters Steve Bong


Installing computer programs without consent became a civil offence punishable by fines in Canada this week.

Under the new regulations that form part of Canada's anti-spam legislation, it is now illegal for a website to automatically install software on a visitor's computer or for an app on your phone to be updated without first obtaining express consent from the owner or another authorised party. The updated rules are designed to protect Canadians from the "most damaging and deceptive forms of spam and online threats" without interfering with legitimate business.

The revised rules are targeting nuisances and worse such as adware on PCs and rogue apps on smartphones. False or misleading representations of products or services are also prohibited under the new regulations.

Canadians are encouraged to report suspected violations of Canada's anti-spam laws to the Spam Reporting Centre. Meanwhile the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is collaborating with Industry Canada to run sessions across the country designed to help businesses understand and prepare for the new rules.

The CRTC is the lead agency is enforcing the new rules and investigating compliance and (where necessary) levying fines against firms that fail to comply with the new rules. As such, it's fulfilling the type of role assigned to the FTC in the US and the ICO in the UK. ®

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