Apr 082015
 
 April 8, 2015  Posted by  Business, Featured News, Non-U.S.

Wow. I hope this doesn’t get lost in all the other news today, but Bell has now back-pedalled on its opt-out approach to collecting consumer information for its targeted ads program. Alexander J. Martin recaps what the Office of the Privacy Commissioner found and Bell’s response (see previous coverage here) and then notes:

In a canned statement published alongside the report, the OPC stated “We remain hopeful that Bell will reconsider its position but are prepared to address this unresolved issue in accordance with our authorities under [the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)], which could involve taking the matter to the Federal Court.”

Following this threat, the telecommunications company is now back-pedalling and in an email to The Register stated: “Bell will abide by the privacy commission’s decision including the opt-in approach.”

The Bell statement adds “We’re dedicated to protecting customer privacy and thank the commission for clarifying the rules. These are rules that must apply not only to Canadian companies but to international companies operating here, like Facebook and Google, to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace.”

Read more on The Register.

  3 Responses to “Ca: Bell Canada pulls U-turn on super-invasive web-stalking operation”

  1. “Bell will abide by the privacy commission’s decision including the opt-in approach,” spokesman Mark Langton said in an e-mail. “We’re dedicated to protecting customer privacy and thank the commission for clarifying the rules.”

    In an interview Tuesday, Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien said he is scheduled to meet with representatives from Bell on Wednesday and said he would refrain from commenting on whether the company “is indeed reversing their position,” until then.

    Source: CHRISTINE DOBBY – TELECOM REPORTER
    The Globe and Mail
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/privacy-watchdog-urges-bell-to-change-web-tracking-policy/article23822585/

    Keep in mind, there is also the CRTC decision coming on this. The CRTC has the power of Fed court. But their history is to be on industry side for anything. But the new blood there has been stirring the pot, a lot, the past couple of years.

    The CRTC decision is what is really going to be the icing on the cake. Will it compliment PrivCom’s ruling?

    Will the CRTC flex its regulatory muscles?

    Did Bell do this to prevent any type of harsh CRTC ruling? And will this attempt to pacify PrivCom prevent the CRTC from doing anything? Very possible…

  2. Another thing that bugs me about this is why this should not be considered a data breach? A breach of private and personal info with the blessings of the highest corporate officers within Bell.

    They abused their position as a common carrier for the collection and selling of private info for material gains.

    I don’t find this much different than a rogue employee abusing their position and collecting then selling peoples sensitive data. It makes me politely grumpy. 😉

    The Bell executives should be on the hook for data theft and a breach.

  3. a bit more…
    http://www.itworldcanada.com/article/bell-targeted-ad-issue-remains-unresolved-privacy-commissioner/373779

    On Wednesday, the OPC had another meeting with Bell officials.

    Tobi Cohen, spokeswoman to the privacy commissioner, told the Canadian Press that talks between Bell and the OPC are still going on.

    “Suffice it to say that it would be premature to say that we have arrived at a solution on the issue of opt-in,” she said. Among the options of the commissioner is to take the matter to Federal court “if a solution cannot be reached to our satisfaction.”
    —-

    PrivCom told me a few weeks back (when I inquired about something) to not take the media’s word/reporting at face value unless it is on their site.

    So far, nothing is on their site. So it’s still “wait and see”.

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