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How does Bell respect my privacy?

Services to enhance your privacy

What privacy enhancing services does Bell offer?

Bell offers a number of services, such as Call Display, Call Privacy and Call Blocking, to help balance the privacy interests of customers and the people they call. You can also find information about these services in the introductory pages of the telephone directory, by calling 310-BELL (2355) or by visiting a Bell store.

Last Updated:09/05/2014

Privacy at Bell

The Bell commitment to privacy

The Bell companies have long been committed to maintaining the accuracy, confidentiality, security and privacy of your information. Our long-standing commitment to safeguarding your right to privacy has led to our reputation as a leader in the protection of customer privacy. To continue to earn your trust, we want to keep you up-to-date on your rights as our customer and on how the Bell companies use and safeguard your personal information. Our representatives undergo privacy training to ensure they are aware of your rights.

Download the full text of the Bell Privacy Policy (PDF - 354K)

Bell has also developed a privacy policy specific to Bell Mobility’s Finder Services.

Download the full text of the Privacy Policy for Bell's Finder services (PDF - 35K).

Bell's Privacy Policy applies to all employees and agents of the Bell companies.

The Bell Privacy Policy applies to the Bell companies offering communications services including wireless, Internet, satellite and IP television, TV, local and long distance wireline services as well as radio, television and digital media services and our various retail locations. It also applies to the Ontario and Québec operations of Bell Aliant.

Any time you do business with any of these companies, or with anyone acting as our agent, you are protected by the rights and safeguards contained in the Bell Privacy Policy.

Every year, we ensure that each of our employees reviews and signs a code of business conduct that requires, among other things, the safeguarding and proper use of customer information. Our representatives undergo extensive privacy training to ensure they are aware of and respect your rights at all times. We also place strict controls on the protection and use of personal information within our systems and websites.

Questions or concerns about your privacy?

We'd be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your privacy. To reach us, please visit our contact us section.

If you still have unresolved privacy concerns, you can write to the Bell Privacy Ombudsman at:

The Office of the Bell Privacy Ombudsman
160 Elgin St.
Ottawa ON K2P 2C4
Or by email at privacy@bell.ca

If the Bell Privacy Ombudsman does not resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you may contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Québec
K1A 1H3
Phone: 1 800 282-1376
www.priv.gc.ca

Last Update:09/05/2014


Your personal information

What is “personal” information?

Personal information can include:

  • Your name, address and phone number(s).
  • Other information about the Bell product(s) that you subscribe to, such as calling features or Bell TV programming.
  • Your service usage such as cellular call records, long distance usage or Internet surfing habits.
  • Account information such as the status of your account or your method of payment.

How and why does Bell collect personal information?

We collect information during the application process, when communicating or transacting business with you, when you browse the Internet using your mobile device, laptop, computer or TV, and when providing you with service. Occasionally we collect information about you from third parties, such as credit reporting agencies for credit checks.

We collect information to:

  • Establish and maintain a responsible commercial relationship with you. For example, we may collect information to confirm your identity or to establish credit worthiness.
  • Understand your needs and preferences to recommend relevant offers, products, services and bundled discounts on behalf of Bell and its affiliates.
  • Understand who the people are that use our products and services, how they use them, and how we can improve them.
  • Manage and develop Bell's business and operations. For example, we monitor usage volumes in order to plan and provision our communications networks. We also track product sales to determine the success of features, promotions and pricing.
  • Meet legal and regulatory requirements. For example, we may be required to collect information by a court order or to demonstrate compliance with a CRTC requirement.

Your personal information will not be used for any other purpose without your consent.

Does Bell store customer information outside of Canada?

In some cases, personal information collected by the Bell companies may be stored and processed outside of Canada to provide you with service or to support Bell operations.

While the information may be subject to the legal jurisdictions of these countries, the companies that provide us with these services have obligations to protect such information. For example, the information is typically provided only after detailed contracts are set out with the companies that provide us with these services. Moreover, the information may only be used for the purposes of providing the services in question.

The use of customer information in this way is governed by the Bell Privacy Policy.

Last Update:09/05/2014


Does Bell share personal client information?

Does Bell share personal client information with outside organizations?

We do not provide personal information to any party outside of the Bell companies except in limited circumstances in which it is necessary for us to do so. These third parties may include:

  • An agent acting on behalf of Bell, such as a company hired to perform installation work on our behalf.
  • Another communications service provider, in order to offer efficient and effective communications services (e.g., to provide mobile service while roaming in another company's coverage area) or as required by law.
  • A collection agency, for the express purpose of the collection of past due bills.

When we provide personal information to third parties, we give only the information that is required under the specific circumstances. That information is used only for the purpose stated and is subject to strict terms of confidentiality. The employees of the companies that we share this information with must meet and respect our privacy standards.

Directory listing information

Please note that, pursuant to federal legislation, publicly available information, including a directory listing of your name, address and telephone number, may be collected, used and disclosed by organizations without your consent.

If you prefer not to have your listing information provided to select organizations, please contact us.

Sharing information among the Bell companies

Occasionally we may share information between the Bell companies to help understand your information, communication and entertainment needs, and to provide you with relevant information to meet those needs.

Option to opt out

If you don't want your information shared among the Bell companies, please contact us.

Please note that when you choose to opt out (or opt back in), it may take up to 30 days to update our databases.

Legal and emergency exceptions

It' s important to note that in certain circumstances, we may collect, use or disclose personal information without your knowledge or consent. For example:

  • During the investigation of a breach of an agreement or the breaking of provincial or federal laws.
  • If we' re asked to comply with a subpoena, warrant, court order or other lawful request.
  • If there is an emergency where someone' s life, health or security is threatened.

Last Update:09/05/2014


Customer usage and account information to design relevant marketing

Your privacy is an important priority at Bell, and so is providing an experience that best meets your needs. Our Privacy Policy (available at bell.ca/privacy) informs you about information we collect and how we use it. Today we want to tell you about some important updates relating to new uses of information.

Starting on November 16, 2013, Bell will begin using 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. We will not share any information that identifies you personally outside of Bell Canada and its affiliates. This supplements our Privacy Policy.

Initially, Bell Mobility customers will be the first to benefit from this program but we look forward to expanding it to TV and Internet customers in the future. Remember, no customer is required to participate. If you don't want your data used for relevant advertising, we won't use it.

What information are we talking about?

Bell will use the following categories of information:

Network usage information, such as:
  • Web pages visited from your mobile device or your Internet access at home.
    This may include search terms that have been used.
  • Location
  • App and device feature usage
  • TV viewing
  • Calling patterns
Account information:
  • Information about your use of Bell products and services (such as device type, postal code, payment patterns, and language preference)
  • Demographic information such as gender or age range

Is my information shared?

No, under these new programs, we will not share any information that identifies you personally outside of Bell Canada and its affiliates.

How information will be used

To create business and marketing reports.
Description

We will combine network usage information and account information in a way that does not personally identify you. We will use this information to prepare business and marketing reports that we may use ourselves or share with others.

Example

We may generate a report that shows 5,000 mobile users downloaded a gaming application in a month, and 80% of them were 18–25 years old.

For other companies to create business and marketing reports.
Description

We may also share information with other companies in a way that does not personally identify you. We will allow these companies to produce limited business and marketing reports.

Example

Using information from Bell and other mobile carriers, a company may generate a report that shows how many mobile users were active along a certain parade route.

To make ads you see more relevant.
Description

When you use the Internet on your mobile device, laptop, computer or TV, you often see unfiltered, random ads on websites and within apps. We would like to use certain network usage information and account information to make the ads you see more relevant to you. These ads may be from Bell or from third parties, however Bell will not share any of your personal information with a third party as part of placing a third party ad.

Example

A hotel chain may want to only advertise their Montréal location to out-of-town mobile users. Bell may exclude Montréal users on the hotel's behalf when delivering the ad (without sharing personal information).

Your choices.
Description

You will receive unfiltered and random ads whether you participate or not, but under this program, ads may be more relevant to you.

If you do not want us to use your information for any of the purposes  described above, you can opt out.  


Last Update:09/05/2014


Customer information verification

Why we ask you to confirm personal information when you call Bell

Bell places great emphasis on the security of your personal information and has safeguards in place to ensure that it is not disclosed to an unauthorized third party which is why, when calling Bell you'll be asked to confirm certain details regarding your account.

This safeguard will help us prevent pre-texting, often referred to as “social engineering”, which refers to the fraudulent and illegal practice of misrepresenting who you are in order to obtain access to someone else' s information. Bell is aware pre-texting, although illegal, has been a practice employed by unauthorized third parties trying to obtain access to customer information.

The kinds of things we might ask you to confirm could include your account number, PIN or password associated with the account, details of your payment habits, service usage or identification that you might have provided when you first requested your service such as a provincial driver's licence number.

We therefore ask for your patience and understanding when you are asked to confirm or provide such information as this process has been established to protect your personal account information.


Last Update:09/05/2014


Common privacy concerns

Does Bell monitor client Internet usage?

Bell does not usually monitor your use of the service or the content of your emails. However, similar to other Internet service providers, Bell reserves the right to do so from time to time.

For example, in the normal course of business, we may need to review certain aspects such as your bandwidth consumption. This is to ensure that our service is functioning properly, but it may also be to ensure your compliance with the provisions of our Acceptable Use Policy, a copy of which can be found at the end of your service agreement.

Some of the things that will trigger monitoring of your use include:

  • Spamming
  • Harassment of other users
  • Uploading, downloading or otherwise transmitting materials which are protected by copyrights or other intellectual property rights
  • Assisting or engaging in the fraudulent use of telecommunications services

Bell may also use information about your account and network usage for other purposes, such as developing new business and marketing reports and improving the relevance of the ads and marketing partner offers we show you.  We will not share any information that identifies you personally outside of Bell Canada and its affiliates.

You can view your Bell Internet Service Agreement online.

What is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and what does it have to do with the Internet?

Deep packet inspection or DPI is a technology used in the industry to examine the types of traffic going across a network, but not the content. During peak periods, Bell uses DPI to identify peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing traffic which is less time sensitive than other real-time sensitive applications, such as Web browsing or video streaming. Because P2P file sharing applications are less time sensitive, they can be slowed when Internet traffic becomes congested during peak periods without interrupting use of the service.

When Bell uses DPI as part of its traffic management measures during peak periods of Internet usage, we do not examine the actual content of traffic and we only collect, for a limited time, your IP address. For example, we do not know the content of your communications nor your search activities. However, for traffic management to work properly, we use DPI technology to assess traffic data along with each IP address to determine what type of traffic it is so that we can treat it accordingly (e.g. if it is P2P file sharing traffic, we may slow it down during times of peak Internet usage to support other activities like Web browsing and video streaming). Once the traffic has been sorted by type for traffic management purposes, it is not retained as part of the usage pattern of any IP address.

Find out more about Bell's Network Management Policy.

What are cookies and does Bell use them?

A cookie is a small text file containing a unique number that identifies your browser - but not you - to our computers each time you visit. Cookies tell us which pages of our sites are visited and by how many people. This allows us to make decisions about which information is useful and what areas need improvement.

Unless you specifically identify yourself, we will not know who you are, even though we may assign your computer a cookie. In addition, unless we have your consent, we never combine cookie information with personally identifiable details like your name, telephone number or even your email address.

Most websites use cookies and most browsers will accept them. You can change the options on your browser to tell you when you have received one, or to refuse to accept them altogether.

You don’t need cookies to visit Bell sites. But if you refuse to accept them, some of the site features might not work, for example, the personalization options.

For more information on how to manage your cookies please visit Bell's Internet Support pages.

Why does Bell record customer calls?

Because Bell is committed to continually improving its customer contact experience, some customer calls may be recorded and used for the ongoing training and development of our employees. Consistent with federal privacy legislation, customers are informed by a pre-recorded message that their call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes. After hearing this message, should you decide to continue with the call, your consent to record the call is implied. Otherwise, you may contact a Bell customer service representative through our contact us section or by visiting a Bell store in your area.

The Bell companies may also record outbound calls placed to our customers for similar purposes.


Last Update:09/05/2014


How does Bell respect children’s privacy online?

We will request permission from a parent or legal guardian before collecting, using or disclosing any personally identifiable information about a child (e.g., for participation in contests and promotions) on any of our commercial websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age.

For more information regarding marketing to children, please visit the Canadian Marketing Association’s Special Considerations in Marketing to Children guidelines, part of the CMA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

For more information about protecting children online, bell.ca offers some information about parental controls and safe surfing in our Internet support pages.


Last Update:09/05/2014


Services to enhance your privacy

What privacy enhancing services does Bell offer?

Bell offers a number of services, such as Call Display, Call Privacy and Call Blocking, to help balance the privacy interests of customers and the people they call. You can also find information about these services in the introductory pages of the telephone directory, by calling 310-BELL (2355) or by visiting a Bell store.


Last Update:09/05/2014


National Do Not Call list

Telephone or fax telemarketing calls

Telemarketing calls may only be made between 9 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (the times are those of the person receiving the call and may vary where provincial restrictions apply).

Persons making telephone or fax telemarketing calls must:

  • Identify themselves, the name of the telemarketer, and the name of the client when the call is being made by a telemarketer on behalf of a client.
  • Display the originating phone number or an alternative number where the telemarketer can be reached, unless number display is not available for technical reasons. The telemarketer’s fax number, name, address and phone number must also appear on the fax.
  • Upon request, remove your name and phone number from their calling or fax lists within 31 days (your request must remain in effect for three years).
  • Upon request, provide a representative’s name, toll-free phone number and address for both the telemarketing organization and, if applicable, its client to whom you can call or write to ask questions, make comments, or to make or verify a Do Not Call request.
  • For faxes only, provide the originating date and time of the fax.

The above rules do not apply to telemarketing messages that are left in your voicemail, or to calls made for purposes other than telemarketing, such as calls for emergency purposes, account collection or service related issues, opinion polls, surveys and market research.

Reducing unwanted telephone or fax telemarketing calls

If you want to limit the telephone or fax telemarketing calls you receive, you or a person you authorize to act on your behalf, can register your phone, cellular and fax numbers on the National Do Not Call List through one of the following methods:

  • Online at www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/
  • By phone at 1 866-580- DNCL (3625)
  • Via TTY device at 1 888 362-5889
  • By faxing your fax number to 1 888 362-5329

Note: To register on the National Do Not Call List by phone, TTY device, or by fax, you must call from the number you are registering.

There is no charge to register your number(s) on the National Do Not Call List. Your number(s) will remain on the National Do Not Call List for three years.

All telephone or fax telemarketing calls that are not subject to one of the exemptions listed below should cease 31 days after you register your number on the National Do Not Call list, except when you have provided an organization with express consent to call you.

The following types of calls are exempt from the National Do Not Call List rules:

  • Calls from organizations that you have done business with in the past 18 months, or to whom you have made an enquiry in the past 6 months (unless you have registered on their individual do not call lists).
  • Calls on behalf of registered charities.
  • Calls on behalf of political parties, nomination or leadership contestants, or candidates of a political party.
  • Calls from opinion polling or market research firms conducting surveys, when the call does not involve the sale of a product or service.
  • Calls from general circulation newspapers for the purpose of selling a subscription.
  • Calls to business consumers.

Bell’s telemarketing activities

If you wish to be added to Bell’s internal Do Not Call List, please notify any Bell customer service representative who will action your request immediately. In keeping with National Do Not Call List rules, all Bell marketing lists will be updated within 31 days.

Complaints regarding telephone or fax telemarketing

You can register a complaint regarding a telephone or fax telemarketing call:

In order to file a complaint, be sure to have the following information on hand:

  • Your phone number
  • Name and/or phone number of the telemarketer
  • Date and time of the telemarketing call
  • Nature of the complaint
  • If it was a fax message, a copy of the fax

You must file your complaint within 14 days of receiving the call in question

Automatic dialling announcing devices

Automatic dialling announcing devices (ADADs) can store or produce telephone numbers to be called and deliver either a pre-recorded or synthesized voice message.

The use of ADADs to make telemarketing calls is prohibited, except where you have provided express consent to receive a telemarketing call via an ADAD from a specific telemarketer.

ADADs used to make calls for purposes other than telemarketing must:

  • Begin with a clear message identifying the person on behalf of whom the call is being made (this identification statement should include both a mailing address and a toll-free number of a call-back line).
  • Repeat the identification statement at the end of the call if the call exceeds 60 seconds.
  • Display the originating number or an alternative number where the caller can be reached, unless number display is not available for technical reasons.
  • In the case of a survey, identify either the survey company or its client.
  • Unless otherwise provided for by law, be made between 9 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends (the times are those of the person receiving the call).
  • Disconnect within 10 seconds after the person receiving the call hangs up.

These conditions do not apply to ADAD calls made for public-service reasons, including calls for emergency and administrative purposes by police and fire departments, schools, hospitals, or similar organizations.


Last Update:09/05/2014


Fraud prevention

Every day, scam artists from around the world are finding new ways, and using the latest technology, to break into office networks or personal computers, or invent new phone or online scams in order to steal information and money from unsuspecting consumers.

Because of the variety and sheer volume of these activities, it is virtually impossible to track every incident or find the source of every fake marketing operation. As a result, more and more consumers and businesses are becoming victims of fraud and losing millions every year.

Education is your best protection

We encourage you to find out more about phishing (email fraud), telemarketing scams and other types of activities that can make you vulnerable. Below, are some examples of what you should be looking out for, as well as some tips that will help you stay safe online and offline.

Telemarketing or prize scams

Look out for aggressive marketing tactics, pressure to “act now,” instructions to pay administrative fees for the delivery of a prize or product, etc. Aggressive marketing tactics are often used in order to “close the deal”, enabling the scam artist to quickly obtain your money and important information such as your banking information or credit card number.

Important tip: Watch out for “suspiciously generous” offers and make sure you are dealing with a legitimate business when you make a purchase over the phone or the Internet. Very short offer-expiry dates are often a sign of a scam. Short expiries reduce the risk of the fraudster being traced by authorities.

 

Some of our customers have had calls from fraudulent telemarketing “operators” claiming to be from Bell. For example, the operators may try to sell new rate plans (which are phony) or they may tell you that they’re updating your account and want you to “confirm” details. Their goal is to trick you into releasing personal information like credit card numbers or social insurance numbers, which can then be used for further fraud. Another example is the use of a pre-recorded message promising customers travel rewards or a $100 credit on their next bill and directing customers to a fake site that “looks” like a legitimate site or a 1-800 number to try to trick customers into disclosing their personal information.

 

If you get a suspicious call:

  • Do not give out your personal information. Legitimate companies will never call or email their customers requesting information such as passwords, bank account information or a credit card number, unless they are responding directly to an inquiry you know you have made.
  • If you suspect that you are speaking with a fraudulent telemarketer, you should end the call and contact the business or organization through its regular channels, for example, 310-BELL (2355).
  • Beware of being directed to websites that “look” like the sites from legitimate organizations – it is always best to access the site of a legitimate organization from its direct homepage, e.g. bell.ca.

Email fraud or phishing

This refers to the use of deceptive emails and fake websites using the brand name of a legitimate business or government agency in order to obtain the personal information of web users for purposes of identity theft and other types of fraud. For more information, go to the Bell Internet support site.

Identity theft

Scam artists are now using a wide range of tactics in order to steal your information online and offline. In addition to phishing, your personal information may be pulled from social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, your computer, your mailbox and even your recycling bin.

Important tips:

  • Be cautious about posting personal information on public websites, such as social networking sites, as those details can be used by fraudsters to convince you that they represent Bell or other companies.
  • Keep your passwords, bank account information and social insurance number confidential at all times, and check your bank and credit card statements frequently.
  • Buy a shredder so you can destroy personal documents that you no longer need. You can be targeted for identity theft by fraud artists who find credit-card bills, etc., in your recycling.

Toll fraud

Scam artists use creative schemes to steal your money by accessing your voice mail system, your calling card information or your Web browser and making sure the additional long distance fees are charged to you. Bell’s Fraud Control Centre continuously monitors its networks and works diligently to protect our customers and our employees.

For more useful tips on how to protect yourself from toll fraud, visit our phone fraud page.

Remember, it is your responsibility to remain vigilant and adopt the simple, but important safeguards that can protect you from toll fraud.

Some important tips:

The following are some important tips to help protect you from fraudulent activities:

  • Be cautious with the information you provide over the phone and make sure no one is watching when keying in your calling card PIN or any other PIN.
  • Watch out for free downloads over the Web. Some sites will try to draw you in with free offers and then download programs that may be directing your Web browser to telephone an Internet service provider overseas. You could be charged the additional long distance fees.
  • Always check your monthly statements carefully and look out for unusual charges.
  • Beware of suspiciously generous offers or prizes from any company.
  • Look out for aggressive marketing tactics, pressure to “act now,” instructions to pay administrative fees for the delivery of a prize or product, etc.
  • Very short offer-expiry dates are often a sign of a scam. Short expiries reduce the risk of the fraudster being traced by authorities.
  • Buy a shredder so you can destroy personal documents that you no longer need. You can be targeted for identity theft by fraud artists who find credit-card bills, etc., in your recycling.
  • Be cautious about posting personal information on public websites as those details can be used by fraudsters to convince you that they represent Bell or other companies.
  • Learn about “phishing” and Internet fraud and take steps to protect yourself.

Who to contact for more information or to report fraud

If you think you may have given personal information to a fraud operator posing as a Bell representative, please call us immediately. Give us as much information as possible including the exact date and time of the call.

Otherwise, if you suspect you’ve been a target of any type of phone or Internet fraud and would like to report a problem, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre (formerly Phonebusters) at 1 888 495-8501 or go to www.antifraudcentre.ca.

To find out more about fraud prevention, go to www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/fraud.


Last Update:09/05/2014


What does “Bell affiliates” mean?

When it comes to your preferences for privacy and marketing, ‘Bell affiliates’ refers to the following companies:

Bell Canada
Bell Mobility Inc.
Bell Aliant Regional Communications L.P.
Bell ExpressVu L.P.
The Source (Bell) Electronics Inc.
Bell Media Inc.

Last Update:09/05/2014


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