On November 10, 2014, the Canadian Radio-Television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released guidance on the installation of computer
programs under Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL). Notably,
the guidance sets out when the Act applies to the installation of
computer programs and states that "self-installed software is
not covered under CASL."
Among other things, the guidance sets out:
When consent is required for the installation of computer
What computer program functions require the disclosure of
additional information when seeking consent;
When certain exceptions to express consent requirements apply;
How updates and upgrades are treated under the Act.
While the guidance helps to clarify the CRTC's
interpretation of some key issues, there are many issues that
remain unsettled. For example, it remains unknown whether the
existence of an undisclosed feature in a program will result in
CASL applying, even in the case of a self-installation.
CASL's computer program provisions come into force
on January 15, 2015. The new rules will impose an express
consent regime on the installation of a computer program on another
person's PC, smartphone or other computer-based device. As a
result, virtually all organizations that operate a website, offer
mobile applications, incorporate software into their products or
otherwise make software available to customers will need to
undertake a careful review of their current practices for
installing programs. For most of these organizations, changing
current practices will be necessary to comply with CASL.
We will be discussing this new development during Osler's
AccessPrivacy Monthly Call on November 19, 2014. If you are
not currently a subscriber to our calls, please register here.
You may also be interested in our Advanced Currency Training for Seasoned
CPOs on November 28, 2014. This full-day session is aimed
at enabling experienced CPOs to maintain their currency and be
aware of emerging themes and developments in the privacy arena. It
focuses on new compliance expectations, emerging challenges and
best practices as well as a strategic approach to achieving a
best-in-class and demonstrably compliant privacy
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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