#CyberFLASH: TD Visa customers’ browsing activities open to ‘surveillance’ by bank

NYBZ120-15_2013_124926_highA B.C. man decided to Go Public after discovering Canada’s second-biggest bank can access and collect information on all of its customers’ online activities, even those that aren’t banking-related.

Colin Laughlan is one of thousands of Canadians who had his Visa cards switched from CIBC to TD in 2014 after the Aeroplan rewards program changed banks.

“When I saw this — I really had to read it two or three times to make myself believe I was reading what I was reading,” he said.

He points to two lines in the 66-page Visa cardholder agreement that allows TD to collect details about anything — and everything — customers do online.

Under the privacy section of the cardholder agreement:

“COLLECTING AND USING YOUR INFORMATION — At the time you request to begin a relationship with us and during the course of our relationship, we may collect information including:

Laughlan, from Vancouver, has a background in privacy issues as a former journalist and communications specialist. He said his radar was up when his new TD Visa card and cardholder agreement arrived in the mail.

“I couldn’t see any reason they had to do that sort of surveillance on Canadians and they weren’t being particularly forthright about it. This was slipped into the fine print of the policy and I’m well aware that the vast majority of people don’t read these things,” he said.

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