Archive for October, 2013

Canada May Be Nearing the Open Access “Tipping Point”

Appeared in the Toronto Star on October 19, 2013 as Canada Nearing ‘Tipping Point’ Where 50 Per Cent of Research is Freely Available The power of the Internet to shake up well-established industries has become a common theme in recent years as many businesses struggle to compete with new entrants […]

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October 24, 2013 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Bell Claims Users Want to Be Monitored, Profiled and Tracked

The reports that Bell is updating its privacy policy to allow for the use of a wide range of personal data collected from Internet and mobile phone usage has generated enormous public concern, an investigation from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and claims from Bell that its customers want to […]

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October 23, 2013 43 comments News

BCCLA Files Lawsuit Over CSEC Surveillance

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has filed a lawsuit against the Communications Security Establishment Canada over its surveillance practices, which it argues are unconstitutional. Statement of claim is here, press release here, and media coverage here.

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October 23, 2013 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

John Oakley Interview Discussing Bell Mining User Data

I appeared on the John Oakley Show to discuss Bell’s plan to mine user data. Listen to this podcast or download it here.

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October 23, 2013 Comments are Disabled News Interviews, Tv / Radio

The Great Canadian Personal Data Grab Continues: Bell Expands Its Consumer Monitoring and Profiling

Last week, I wrote about the Great Canadian personal data grab, focusing on the expansive data collection habits of RBC (with its Android app) and Aeroplan (with its collection of all credit card transaction data). Now comes news that Bell is getting into the personal data grab game with an updated privacy policy that takes effect in mid-November. The new Bell “privacy” policy expands the uses of the information the company collects by focusing on ways to use data on network usage.  The current policy makes no reference to network usage data, but the company now wants to use a wide range of personal data collected from Internet and mobile phone usage.

Bell identifies the following data for expanded usage:

  • Web pages visited from your mobile device or your Internet access at home.
 This may include search terms that have been used.
  • Location
  • App and device feature usage
  • TV viewing
  • Calling patterns

Bell will also begin to use account data such as which products you use, device types, payment patterns, language preferences, gender, and age.

The scope of Bell’s intended personal data usage is remarkable. Given that many of its customers will have bundled Internet, wireless, and television services, the company will be tracking everything: which websites they visit, what search terms they enter, what television shows they watch, what applications they use, and what phone calls they make. All of that data will be correlated with their location, age, gender, and more.

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October 21, 2013 56 comments News