ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8665-C12-200513483

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Ottawa, 18 November 2005

Sent by Facsimile

David Elder
Vice President Regulatory Law
Bell Canada
110 O'Connor Street
7th Floor
Ottawa , Ontario
K1P 1H1  

Willie Grieve
Vice President, Public Policy &
Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Inc.
10020 - 100 Street NW
21st Floor
Edmonton , Alberta
T5J 0N5  

Dawn L. Hunt
Vice President, Government and
Intercarrier Relations
Rogers Wireless Inc.
333 Bloor Street East
9th Floor
Toronto , Ontario
M4W 1G9

Dear Sirs and Madam:

In the 21 November 2005 issue of Maclean's Magazine, it was reported that an individual was able to purchase from a U.S.-based data broker telephone records of Canadian telephone subscribers, including wireline and cellular records. According to the article in Maclean's Magazine, the U.S.-based data broker may have obtained the call information records from the telephone companies that you respectively represent.   A copy of the relevant Maclean's Magazine article (the article) has been attached for your convenience.

One of the objectives of Canadian telecommunications policy is to contribute to the protection of the privacy of persons, as set out in section 7i) of the Telecommunications Act .    The Commission regards the protection of confidential customer information as a very serious matter, particularly in light of the fact that we live in a society where information is easily processed, re-arranged and exchanged.  

The article raises concerns with respect to the protection of confidential customer information.   Bell Canada, TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS) and Rogers Wireless Inc. (Rogers) are required to comply with the confidentiality provisions which prohibit, except in certain specified circumstances, the disclosure of customer information, other than the customer's name, address and listed telephone number, to any person other than the customer or a person who, in the reasonable judgement of the Canadian carrier, is seeking the information as an agent of the customer, without the express consent of the customer.

On 14 November 2005 , Bell Canada issued a statement noting that it is investigating the incident referred to in the article. The Commission requests TELUS and Rogers to undertake a similar investigation.   In addition, within ten days from the date of this letter, the Commission requests that Bell Canada, TELUS and Rogers report to the Commission outlining the specific details as to what occurred and describing the safeguards that were in place within their respective companies at the time the alleged incidents took place (including safeguards against unauthorized electronic access, details as to how your company verifies and validates the identity of a party requesting confidential customer information, and the means by which confidential customer information is provided).   Bell Canada , TELUS and Rogers are also requested to describe any additional safeguards that have been or will be implemented.

A copy of this letter will be made publicly available.


Gerry Lylyk
Director, Consumer Affairs
Telecommunications Branch  

c.c. Renée Gauthier, CRTC (819) 994-5174  


Date Modified: 2005-11-18
Date modified: