Back in November Bell adjusted its terms and conditions and stated they will use “certain information about your account and network usage for select purposes, such as continuing to improve network performance and product offers through new business and marketing reports, making some of the ads and marketing partner offers you see more relevant to you, and providing increased levels of fraud detection and prevention.”
There was an uproar about this as customer didn’t want any relevant ads coming to their Bell services, namely their wireless device. Bell directed those who questioned their motive to their site with instructions of how to opt-out of this process.
Today, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC) filed an application with the CRTC indicating the way Bell is collecting and using customer data is “unprecedented” and “is contrary to Canadian telecommunications policy.” The PIAC and CAC both note that the Bell Relevant Ads Program is a “is a violation of the Commission’s confidential customer information rules,” plus it enhances “Bell’s four-screen strategy that emphasizes advertising revenue.”
Bruce Cran, President of CAC, said “Bell is trying to ‘double-dip’ by taking your subscription fees and then selling information based on your use of the services you just paid for. It’s inappropriate – and asking that Canadians “opt-out” of this program they never asked for is wrong.”
Both consumer-first organizations are seeking feedback from Canadians to submit their comments on the issue.
Bell isn’t the only carrier who is seeking to bring targeted advertising to your smartphone. Rogers recently entered this targeted ad space by launching ‘Rogers Alerts’ initiative, one that users would opt-in to receive, and also brings “personalized offers” to their smartphone.