Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bell Canada will Use Network Usage Information for "select purposes"

Bell Canada is going to use its customers (starting with mobile subscribers) data usage information for a number of purposes, including the controversial behavioral advertising. The way it is done (with opt-out option only, see below) brings back past incidents in the UK (Phorm) and US (Nebuad) - all  ended up with lawsuits (see "Paper: The Use of DPI for Behavioral Advertising (Case Study: Nebuad and Phorm)" - here).

In addition, Bell say it may share information that identifies customers personally with its affiliates (a very wide defenition, usually). 

Bell's web page "How does Bell respect my privacy?" (here) explains that "Your privacy is an important priority at Bell, and so is providing an experience that best meets your needs .. Today we want to tell you about some important updates relating to new uses of information".

"Starting on November 16, 2013, Bell will begin using certain information about your account and network usage for select purposes, such as continuing to improve network performance and product offers through new business and marketing reports, making some of the ads and marketing partner offers you see more relevant to you, and providing increased levels of fraud detection and prevention. We will not share any information that identifies you personally outside of Bell Canada and its affiliates.

Initially, this applies only to Bell Mobility customers but we look forward to expanding it to tv and internet customers in the future. Remember, no customer is required to participate. If you don't want your data used for relevant advertising, we won't use it.

Network usage information, such as:
  • 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
If you do not want us to use your information for any of the purposes described above, you can opt out.

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