The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, whose members are exempt from the do-not-call list, has conducted a survey that it says shows that the do-not-call list is working.
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My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, Vancouver Sun version, homepage version) focuses on the reaction to iOptOut.ca which includes advice from at least two Canadian associations to their members not to respect the legitimate opt-out requests of thousands of Canadians. I argue that this provides a good sense of what lies ahead this fall when the government-mandated list makes its long awaited debut. The iOptOut.ca site is based on a simple premise, namely that Canadian privacy law already gives Canadians the right to withdraw their consent over the use of their personal information (including phone numbers) for telemarketing calls. Visitors to the site are asked to enter their phone number (and email address if they wish) and to indicate their privacy preferences for nearly 150 organizations.
With a single click, the selected organizations each receive an opt-out request, enforceable for the moment through the complaint process under national privacy law. Once the do-not-call list is up and running, there will be a further enforcement mechanism – complete with financial penalties – for those organizations that do not respect the opt-out request. After only one week online, it has become readily apparent that the site has struck a chord with Canadians. More than 17,000 phone numbers have been registered, resulting in over 1.7 million opt-out requests. Interestingly, many users pick-and-choose their organizations, as over a quarter of all registrants do not check all available options.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 7, 2008 as Do-Not-Call Faces Challenges When Canada's do-not-call list becomes operational later this year, many Canadians may be surprised to learn that some of the country's most active telemarketing organizations enjoy "exempt" status under the law. As a result of an aggressive […]