How does Bell respect my privacy?
- helpful examples of how and when we collect, use and disclose your personal information, including how we share information within our family of companies; and
- an explanation of what is, and what is not, personal information, why de-identified information is not personal information and including helpful examples.
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.
Your personal information is information about you as an identifiable individual. Personal information can include:
- Your name, address email 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.
If personal information is effectively de-identified so that it can no longer be linked to an identifiable individual, the information is no longer 'personal'. De-identification is an important tool for protecting privacy.
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 grantors or consumer 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, including through data analytics, and to recommend relevant offers, products, services and bundled discounts on behalf of our companies.
- Understand who the people are that use our products and services, how they use them, and how we can improve them.
- Manage and develop our 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.
In some cases, personal information collected by our companies may be stored and processed outside of Canada to provide you with service or to support 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 the companies that provide us with these services have agreed to be bound by contracts setting out detailed privacy safeguards.. Moreover, the information may only be used for the purposes of providing the services in question.
We do not provide personal information to any party outside of our family of companies except in limited circumstances in which it is necessary for us to do so or if you have otherwise given consent. The third parties may we may provide with personal information include:
- Our agents acting on our behalf, 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
Pursuant to federal legislation, publicly available information (including a directory listing of your name, address, email 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 our companies
Occasionally we may share information between our companies to help understand your information, communication and entertainment needs, and to provide you with relevant information to meet those needs.
To manage your communications preferences: bell.ca/marketingpreferences
Legal and emergency exceptions
In certain urgent circumstances, we may collect, use or disclose personal information without your knowledge or consent. For example:
- During the investigation of potential fraud, 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.
Advertising is a reality in today’s online world, and people are finding that they receive ads that are irrelevant to them. With its online marketing program, Bell will work to ensure that the ads you do receive may be more relevant to you, rather than the random ads you may currently receive. In other words, you won't see more ads, just ads better suited to you.
If you participate, Bell will be able to customize advertising based on your usage patterns, similar to the ways that companies like Google have been doing for some time. These companies may sometimes use an individual's detailed URL and location info for marketing purposes and/or to limit the number of irrelevant ads a user might see. If you provide your express consent to participate in the Online Marketing Program and change your mind, you can opt-out at any time. Learn more
We place great emphasis on the security of your personal information and have safeguards in place to ensure that it is not disclosed to an unauthorized third party which is why, when calling us, 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. We are aware that 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.
Similar to other service providers, we may monitor our customers’ use of our services from time to time in accordance with our acceptable use policy and applicable laws.
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 our Terms of Service.
Some of the things that may trigger monitoring of your use include:
- 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 our services
For additional information, please refer to the guidelines set out in your Terms of Service regarding the responsible use of Bell Services.
Because we are committed to continually improving our customer service, 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 customer service representative through our contact us section or by visiting a retail store in your area.
We may also record outbound calls placed to our customers for similar purposes.
Analytics simply means the analysis of information, often aggregated, to get statistical insights. The insights gained from analytics can be used in a variety of ways.
Some examples of how we use analytics in our operations to improve the quality and reliability of our services include: combining selected usage data of large number of customers to optimize our current network, detect areas of congestion or possible problems. We can even use analytics to help us make decisions about where we need to expand our facilities to meet future demands, what new services to develop and what broadcasting content our viewers will enjoy.
We may use information that has been securely aggregated and de-identified for analytics. Any personal information is de-identified so that customers cannot be identified as individuals. We use the most up-to-date de-identification methods and regularly review these methods to ensure your privacy is protected. We may use that de-identified information to improve our operations, to provide social benefits (such as assisting municipalities with traffic planning) and to develop analytic marketing reports for our use and for the use of our partners.
We will request permission from a parent or legal guardian before intentionally 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.
National Do Not Call List
“Telemarketing” is when someone tries to contact you by phone or fax to sell, promote or market you products or services.
To limit the phone or fax telemarketing calls you receive you can register your phone, wireless or fax numbers on the National Do Not Call List (NDNCL).
You can register:
- Online at lnnte-dncl.gc.ca
- By phone at 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625)
- Via TTY device at 1-888-362-5889; or
- By faxing your number to 1-888-362-5329
If you’re registering by phone, you must call from the number you’re registering on the NDNCL.
Telemarketers can register and obtain subscriptions to the NDNCL at Innte-dncl.gc.ca.
Bell’s Telemarketing activities
If you wish to be added to Bell’s Internal Do Not Call list, please contact a Bell Customer Service Representative at 310-BELL (2355). In keeping with the CRTC’s Telemarketing Rules, all Bell marketing lists are updated within 14 days.
Complain or Report Caller
You can submit complaints about improper telemarketing to a telephone number on the National Do Not Call List at the NDNCL’s website (Innte-dncl.gc.ca) or by calling: 1-866-580-DNCL(3625).
Report scams and fraud calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
For information on the Unsolicited Telemarketing Rules, please visit the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) website at www.crtc.gc.ca.
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 one of our companies. For example, the operators may try to sell new service 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, 1 866 310-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 our Internet support site [link]
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 Instagram, your computer, your mailbox and even your recycling bin.
- 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.
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. Our 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 one of our representatives, 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.
When it comes to your preferences for privacy and marketing, “our companies” refers to the following companies and brands as they may exist over time:
Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Bell ExpressVu LP (Bell TV), Bell Media, Bell Mobility, Bell MTS, Cablevision du Nord, DMTS, KMTS, NorthernTel, Ontera, Solo Mobile and Télébec.
We'd be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may still 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., 19th floor
Ottawa ON K2P 2C4
Or by email at email@example.com
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
Phone: 1 800 282-1376