Amendments proposed by some 13 business and technology organizations to Canada’s draft antispam regulations call for the government to allow the installation in computers of devices that can monitor user activities.
A 34-page document sent to Industry Canada
Monday by the Coalition of Business and Technology Associations, which includes the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Marketing Association, Magazines Canada and the retail Council of Canada, is asking the government to make at least 10 exemptions from the draft regulation’s express consent requirements on software installation.
The group is also calling on the government to have the draft regulations reviewed once more and not to enforce the antispam law until at least 12 months after final regulations have been published.
On Monday this week, the deadline for comments on the draft published by Industry Canada expired. The regulations will be used to interpret terms of the Canada Anti-spam Legislation (CASL), which was passed by Parliament in December 2010 but has not yet been proclaimed as law because of wrangling over regulations.
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The proposed regulations contain a critical provision that requires express consent from users before software can be installed in a computer. The provision specifically states that a person must not, in the course of a commercial activity, install have someone install computer program on any other person's computer system.
If a computer program has been installed, the provision states, the installer or the person who ordered the installation must not cause an electronic message to be sent from that computer system, unless expressed consent of the owner or authorized user of the machine is obtained or if the act is in accordance with a court order.
“CASL’s computer program rules could make it illegal for Canadian organizations to fight threats to their computer systems, networks and to their customer’s personal information and privacy,” the coalition’s submission said. “…This could result in law abiding organizations that are trying to do the right thing in the face of cyber threats inadvertently violating CASL.”
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The group proposed the creation of a “Review Body” to look into the draft regulations once more before it comes into effect with the “consideration of limiting the scope of the computer program provision to malware and spyware.”