Canadian ISPs Take Stance Against Data Collection

Several ISPs in Canada have taken a stance against data collection from government authorities by making a number of changes to their policies.

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Photo: Alexander Mak / Shutterstock

Providers such as Rogers and Telus have stated that they will no longer hand over data without a warrant granted. The moves follow a Supreme Court ruling last month that stated that police must have ‘judicial authorization’ before requesting data from an ISP.

Rogers previously revealed that authorities had made 175,000 requests for customer data last year.

Smaller ISPs like TekSavvy have made similar moves but one of the standouts from the pack are two major ISPs Bell and Shaw, who have yet to make their positions clear.

“The Supreme Court has really made the decision. They’re really the ones who have said, under the laws of Canada you have to have an order signed by a judge,” said Rogers Chief Privacy Officer, Ken Engelhart.

“The fact that our customers were saying to us, ‘Look, you should be doing more to protect us,’ that was definitely the deciding factor in today’s decision.”

Previously Rogers would comply with requests, granting the minimum of name and address. “But we won’t give them any personal information — no name, no address,” says Engelhart now.

The move from ISPs comes at a critical time with the introduction of Bill C-13 by parliament, a piece of legislation tasked at policing cyber bullying but has many privacy advocates worried as it may grant police the power to search phones and data.

Telus added in its official statement:

“Protecting our customers’ privacy is vitally important to Telus, and we have a long-standing practice of only providing confidential customer information to third parties pursuant to valid court orders or other applicable law.”

The Toronto Star says that it has pursued Bell for a comment on its policies but to no avail as of yet.