Post Tagged with: "telecom transparency"

Bell by Mike Schaffner (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/g4EcLg

Why the Privacy Commissioner Doesn’t Need Legal Reforms To Require Transparency Reports

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien was in the news this week as he expressed concern with the evasiveness of Canada’s spy agencies and the ongoing refusal of some of Canada’s telecom companies (namely Bell) to issue transparency reports. I’ll have more to say about privacy and government agencies in my technology law column next week, but on the issue of telecom transparency reports, I believe that Therrien already has the necessary legal mandate to act now. Therrien urged all telecom companies to release transparency reports, noting:

“I think Canadians are telling us, first of all, that they would much prefer that data be shared from telcos to government only with a warrant, with a court authorization. But when that does not happen, Canadians expect that there be transparency…frankly, if there’s not more progress I will continue to call for legislation on this issue.”

I wrote about why Canada’s telecom transparency reporting still falls short late last month, emphasizing that a non-binding approach to transparency reporting has been a failure.

Read more ›

June 10, 2016 4 comments News

Why Canada’s Telecom Companies Should Come Clean About Customer Information

Earlier this week, I wrote a column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) arguing that Canada’s telecom companies should come clean about their disclosures of customer information. That column was in response to a public letter from leading civil liberties groups and academics  sent to Canada’s leading telecom companies asking them to shed new light into their data retention and sharing policies. The letter writing initiative, which was led by Christopher Parsons of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, is the latest attempt to address the lack of transparency regarding how and when Canadians’ personal information may be disclosed without their knowledge to law enforcement or intelligence agencies.

That initiative has now effectively been joined by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and NDP MP Charmaine Borg. Chantal Bernier, the interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada, released recommendations yesterday designed to reinforce privacy protections in the age of cyber-surveillance. The report includes the following recommended reform to PIPEDA:

require public reporting on the use of various disclosure provisions under PIPEDA where private-sector entities such as telecommunications companies release personal information to national security entities without court oversight.

Read more ›

January 29, 2014 5 comments Columns

Why Canada’s Telecom Companies Should Come Clean About Customer Information

Appeared in the Toronto Star on January 25, 2014 as Why Canada’s Telecoms Should Come Clean About Customer Information Last week I joined leading civil liberties groups and academics in a public letter sent to Canada’s leading telecom companies asking them to shed new light into their data retention and […]

Read more ›

January 28, 2014 1 comment Columns Archive

Internet Surveillance Bill is Dead but Canada’s Telecom Transparency Gap is Alive and Well

The government’s recent decision to kill its online surveillance legislation marked a remarkable policy shift. The outcry over the plan to require Internet providers to install surveillance capabilities within their networks and to disclose subscriber information on demand without court oversight sparked an enormous backlash, leading to the tacit acknowledgment that the proposal was at odds with public opinion.

While many Canadians welcomed the end of Bill C-30, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the year-long battle over the bill placed the spotlight on an ongoing problem with the current system of voluntary disclosure of subscriber information: Internet providers and telecom companies disclose customer information to law enforcement tens of thousands of times every year without court oversight.

Read more ›

February 26, 2013 10 comments Columns

Petition Against System-Access Fees

Liberal MP David McGuinty has supplemented his private member's bill that legislates against system access fees with a petition on point.

Read more ›

June 10, 2008 9 comments Must Reads