#FAIL: Bell Canada Wants To Track Everything Its Customers Do

Bell Canada is asking customers for permission to track everything they do according to the CBC. They would be tracking activities on their home and mobile phones, internet, television, apps or any other services they get through Bell or its affiliates.

Tailored marketing means Bell will be able to customize advertising based on participant account information and service usage patterns, similar to the ways that companies like Google and others have been doing for some time,” the company says in recent notices to customers. If given permission, Bell will collect information about its customers’ age, gender, billing addresses, and the specific tablet, television or other devices used to access Bell services. It will also collect the “number of messages sent and received, voice minutes, user data consumption and type of connectivity when downloading or streaming.” “Bell’s marketing partners will not receive the personal information of program participants; we just deliver the offers relevant to the program participants on their behalf,” the company assures customers.

The only good news is that this is an opt in program. But the bad news is that if you opt in, you get little to no compensation for increased risks to you privacy and security. That doesn’t exactly sound like a reason to sign up for this. And I suspect that once word gets around, many won’t. Which means that Bell may get more aggressive and make this an opt out program. After all, they’ve done that before though they had to back away from it when the heat got cranked up. But it would not shock me if they went to that well again.

This is truly a shake my head moment as I can’t believe that Bell would go down this road given the times we live in.

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