Bell Canada is the giant, diversified former national monopoly carrier that has been allowed to buy magazines, TV channels, and other users of its infrastructure, violating the cardinal separation of telcoms between services and carriers.
As Bell has grown, the quality of the services it delivers and its relationship with its customers have declined, as the company sought ever-more-invasive, rapacious ways of serving its shareholders instead of the taxpayers who paid for its creation and buildout.
Now, Bell has reached a new low: they've sent out opt-in agreements asking Canadians to grant them permission to "track everything they do with their home and mobile phones, internet, television, apps or any other services they get through Bell or its affiliates... customers' age, gender, billing addresses, and the specific tablet, television or other devices used to access Bell services...number of messages sent and received, voice minutes, user data consumption and type of connectivity when downloading or streaming."
In exchange, they promise to tailor ads and promos.
Teresa Scassa, who teaches law at the University of Ottawa and holds the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy, says Bell has done a good job of explaining what it wants to do.
But Scassa says Bell customers who opt into Bell's new program could be giving away commercially valuable personal information with little to no compensation for increased risks to their privacy and security.
"Here's a company that's taking every shred of personal information about me, from all kinds of activities that I engage in, and they're monetizing it. What do I get in return? Better ads? Really? That's it? What about better prices?"
Bell wants permission to gather and track customer data [Canadian Press/CBC]
Equifax doxed virtually every adult in America as well as millions of people in other countries like the UK and Canada. The breach was caused by an acquisition spree in which the company bought smaller competitors faster than it could absorb them, followed by negligence in both monitoring and responses to early warnings. Execs who […]
The next version of Chrome will patch a bug that lets websites detect users who are in incognito mode by by probing the Filesystem API; they've also pledged to seek out and block any other vulnerabilities that will let servers detect users in incognito mode.
The Googler Uprising was a string of employee actions within Google over a series of issues related to ethics and business practices, starting with the company's AI project for US military drones, then its secretive work on a censored/surveilling search tool for use in China; then the $80m payout to Android founder Andy Rubin after […]
Vape technology has been around long enough that vapers are starting to get picky about their gear. Luckily, so are we. From disposable models to cutting-edge touchscreen atomizers, there’s a vaporizer in this roundup to suit every taste. Hera 2 – World’s Most Advanced Dual-Use Vaporizer Choose between dry herb or oil extraction modes – […]
With enough practice and commitment, anyone can be a visual artist. But without the right instruction, that time spent honing your skills could seem like an eternity. If you really want to see where your talent can take you, you need sound fundamentals – and no matter what discipline or genre you lean toward, the […]
Theoretically, there’s never been an easier time for marketers. The ubiquity of social media means a good word – or a good brand – can spread like wildfire with very little effort. But as limitless as the internet is, there’s a lot of competition and noise to contend with. And the vast graveyard of failed […]