Bell Canada asks Canadians for permission to harvest and sell their browsing, location, viewing and other data


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/09/evil-step-ma-bell.html


#2

#3

How nice of them to ask. What are the odds that the answers will be thrown in the trash and they’ll just collect all the data on everybody?


#4

Not as good as the odds that they’ve already been doing it and don’t ever stop.


#5

Was thinking the same


#6

I keep hearing companies push this “better ads” line, as if that’s some kind of benefit to the consumer. Are there really people out there clamoring for more tailored ads? Is that supposed to be a selling point?

Tailored ads are creepy AF.


#7

They shouldn’t do an opt out program.

They should pay us if they want to track us, on an opt in basis.


#8

I thought it was always better to apologize…


#9

In exchange, they promise to tailor ads and promos.

Answer is a cheery: “No thanks, I use ad blockers so I don’t see any of that useless garbage!”

Not that it will matter. Like any other North American ISP, they’ll suck in that data whether or not you give permission.


#10

It is Opt in.


#11

I am a very private person that lives in the world of data and software and don’t understand how this story is not a positive thing instead of negative. Them skirting the Canadian laws about aquisitions is certainly bad, and their claimed bad service is self evident. But a telecom, for the first time that I can remember, is asking for permission to use your personal data that they already have is a good thing and not a bad one. At the very least it is a step in the right direction.

If you want to write a good story about egregious data collection then just call Chase credit card’s customer service line 1-877-242-7372 and listen to their warning that your voice will be used for future identification. You can opt out, but only of them using the voice print they just created for id over the phone but cant opt out of the creation of the ID. They will also, not delete it. I had to call in several times with heavily altered voices to poison their voice print of me because there is no alternative.


#12

Yeah, but it’s opt in for them to sell something valuable of yours for no remuneration.


#13

Indeed. Every transaction is fine by me so long as it’s opt in. I get offerd bad deals all the time and simply refuse them.


#14

That’s a low? Asking? I don’t get it. How is asking a bad thing? Shouldn’t we encourage companies asking instead of just doing? Seems to me that they are trying to do the right thing in a clumsy way.


#15

I still doubt whether or not you give permission will have an impact on what they do.


#16

OK. You can speculate if you like. But it’s just speculation without any substance. Why not watch closely and if they are found to be collecting data on people who didn’t opt in that would seem to me to be a better time to be upset.


#17

Sure, but that’s a separate question from whether they should be asking before doing in the first place. And I imagine it’ll be a lot easier for someone to convince a court (or, more probably, an arbitration panel) that the company has done something wrong if (or, more probably, when) the company shares that person’s data despite the person not having opted in. Put another way, the existence of this opt-in agreement is evidence—an on-the-record acknowledgement that the company knows it’s not supposed to share data without permission.


#18

Bell Canada asks Canadians for permission to harvest and sell their browsing, location, viewing and other data

You seem to have misspelled “organs”.


#19

Maybe you should vote with your feet, and get a different credit card, from a tiny local bank or, better yet, a credit union.


#20

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