Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...
The Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. internet service providers will feel little fallout from the recent repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s ISP privacy rule because they are subject to Canadian privacy laws.
In the U.S., the repeal means domestic companies could potentially track, share and allow third parties to monetize information gleaned from subscribers’ information from apps, websites visited or online purchases—unless customers opt out. But those significant implications won’t reach across national borders, as countries with existing privacy requirements for ISPs can be expected to continue enforcing them—regardless of what occurs in the U.S.
Tobi Cohen, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, told Bloomberg BNA that multinational companies operating in Canada, such as AT&T Inc. subsidiary AT&T Canada, are subject to the nation’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Under the law, companies must obtain a customer’s consent when they collect, use or disclose personal information.
“Personal information can only be used for the purposes for which it was collected,” Cohen said. “If an organization is going to use it for another purpose, consent must be obtained again,” she said.
The application of PIPEDA to Canadian ISPs is well-established.
Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien addressed the application of the PIPEDA consumer consent provisions to ISPs in 2015, when Bell Canada came under fire for its data-use policies. The company was utilizing a program that tracked the internet-browsing habits of customers, along with their app usage, TV viewing and calling patterns, the commissioner’s office said in its PIPEDA Investigation Report.
“By combining this information with demographic and account data already collected from customers, Bell can create highly detailed profiles that enable third parties to deliver targeted ads to Bell’s customers for a fee,” the office said. “The program involves combining customer information from several Bell affiliates that offer a range of mobile, home phone, Internet and TV services,” Therrien said at the time.
In response to the privacy office’s report, Bell Canada dropped its targeted ad program, deleted the customer data it had collected and stored, and promised to not undertake any similar tracking programs in the future.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hainsworth in Vancouver at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)