Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution List

Ottawa, 29 July 2020

Our reference: 8665-C12-202000280


Distribution List

RE: Procedural Request – Disclosure of Confidential Information - Unauthorized Mobile Telephone Number Transfers and SIM Swapping in Canada

This letter deals with the request for public disclosure of information designated as confidential by various parties to the above-noted reference.

By letter dated 23 July 2020, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) requested under section 38 of the Telecommunications Act disclosure of the information filed in confidence regarding the measures being proposed by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) to address unauthorized mobile telephone number transfers and SIM swaps and data on the number of unauthorized mobile telephone number transfers and SIM swaps. PIAC submitted that the specific information and data being withheld are timely and relevant to victims of these activities and all consumers, who need to have access to these details to be able to provide input and raise any concerns they might have at this stage, rather than after measures are implemented.

Section 39(4) of the Telecommunications Act states that the Commission may disclose or require the disclosure of information designated as confidential if it is of the opinion that the disclosure is in the public interest.

In Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961, 23 December 2010, as amended by 2010-961-1, 26 October 2012, the Commission indicated that, in determining whether disclosure of the information is in the public interest, it would consider whether the information would be likely to result in specific direct harm and whether that harm would outweigh the public interest in disclosure. Where the specific direct harm does not outweigh the public interest in disclosure, the Commission will generally require that the information be disclosed.

The expectation that specific direct harm might result from disclosure is not, by itself, sufficient to justify maintaining a claim of confidentiality. In certain circumstances, substantial harm from disclosure may still be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure.

Finally, the treatment of confidentiality requests should not be taken as an indication of the manner in which such matters will be dealt with in the future in different circumstances.

In light of the above, the CWTA and each mobile carrier are requested to respond to PIAC’s request for disclosure by 4 August 2020, serving a copy on PIAC.

A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.


Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.:  Ursula Grant, CWTA,
John Lawford, PIAC,

Distribution List:
Eric Smith, CWTA,

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