The telecommunications giant says it’s ramping up its data collection to make “some of the ads and marketing partner offers you see more relevant to you.” Users can opt out of the scheme, but only for the ads. There is no way to stop Bell from tracking you, although they promise information that identifies specific customers will remain inside the company and not be shared with third parties.
The policy change was first flagged by University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, who describes Bell as taking part in “The Great Canadian Personal Data Grab.” He has previously noted aggressive data collection by Royal Bank, Air Canada and other companies whose mobile apps give them way more information than people likely realize.
Bell Canada, however, has more than a simple app from which to draw customer information. With its combined cable, phone and Internet businesses, the telecom has enough data on its more than seven million subscribers to alarm privacy watchdogs.