#CyberFLASH: CRTC needs stronger warnings on privacy

phone.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxHave you ever been bugged by unwanted calls?

Canada’s telecom regulator is looking at technical solutions to protect Canadians from telemarketing calls, especially those from overseas using caller ID spoofing to disguise their origin.

The CRTC posts comments at its website, along with the contact information of the person submitting them — including the name, address, email address and, yes, the phone number.

“Hope these folks are aware their ‘interventions’ are posted for all to see,” said Jay Dell-Mah, who alerted me after following a link in my previous column about threatening calls from fraudulent tax collectors.

“Too bad the CRTC didn’t consider the irony of having the protectors of our privacy publishing the very material of interest to the pirates.”

I asked the CRTC why it posted contact information when you submitted a comment. Couldn’t it collect information to verify your identity without exposing it online?

I also got in touch with a number of people who contacted the CRTC about unwanted calls, picking them at random from the 139 comments posted so far. The consultation ends Jan. 11, 2016.

Here are my conclusions:

  • The CRTC should warn people in bold print that every contact detail they submit will appear online.
  • People who complain about telemarketers blocking their phone numbers should make sure to shield their own phone numbers from the CRTC.

Read more here

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