Automatic app updates now illegal in Canada

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As of today, new requirements for installing computer programs have come into force. Businesses installing software or computer programs on another person’s computer must now have their consent.

Upgrade listFor example, under the new requirements, 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 consent.

These new requirements are part of Canada’s anti-spam legislation adopted by Parliament that came into force on July 1, 2014. These requirements are designed to protect Canadian consumers from the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam and online threats while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.

The CRTC in collaboration with Industry Canada provided information sessions across the country to help businesses understand and prepare for the new requirements. For more information, see the fact sheet (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/i2.htm).

Canadians are encouraged to report suspected violations of Canada’s anti-spam legislation to the Spam Reporting Centre (http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/h_00017.html). The information sent to the Centre is used by the CRTC, the Competition Bureau, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to enforce Canada’s anti-spam legislation. The CRTC has the primary enforcement responsibility and is able to investigate, take action against and set administrative monetary penalties against those who are not in compliance.