A warning to Canadian MSPs: You could be violating the new anti-spam laws just by monitoring your clients’ systems!
Are you using remote tools to monitor your clients’ network? Do you have the ability to do maintenance on their computers from the comfort of your own office? These are tried-and-true tactics that all MSPs have been using for years to make their lives easier and to better help their clients.
But if you’re not careful, you could end up violating Canada’s new anti-spam laws just by doing your job.
As of January 15, 2015, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has new requirements regarding the installation of software on other people’s computers. This doesn’t apply to people or businesses installing software themselves, just when another company (like your MSP) does it.
So all that handy software you use to help your clients could be against the law, unless they’ve expressly given you consent to install it.
Now, there’s no need to panic here. Your clients ultimately want you to be doing your job and protecting their systems, and your monitoring and maintenance software is part of that. So getting consent shouldn’t be a big deal. But you do need to make sure you get it, otherwise you could find yourself in hot water.
As with any legal matter, you should consult your lawyer to make sure you’re doing everything necessary to protect yourself here.
But ultimately you will need to approach your existing clients to ensure you’ve got their explicit permission to continue using the software on their computers. For new clients, a good way to take care of this is to just have the clause written into your service agreement. That way, when it’s all signed, everything has already been taken care of and you won’t have to worry about it down the road.
Whatever you do, do it now. January 15 has already passed, and the sooner you cover all your bases and ensure you’re not violating the law, the safer you’ll be.
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