#CyberFLASH: Canadian spy agency gathered data at airport: Snowden document

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Canada’s electronic spy agency collected data from thousands of travellers passing through a major airport and tracked their wireless devices for days after they left the terminal, according to a secret document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. 

The Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) collected information gathered from unsuspecting passengers’ wireless devices by the airport’s free wi-fi system over a two-week period in 2012. 

CSEC then tracked the travellers for a week or more as their wireless devices showed up in wi-fi “hot spots” in cities across Canada and even at US airports, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) quoted a top secret document retrieved by Snowden as saying. 

The document indicated the passenger tracking operation was a trial run for a powerful new software programme being developed jointly with the US National Security Agency (NSA). 

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#CyberFLASH: Consumer groups challenge Bell Canada’s data collection

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OTTAWA — Two consumer advocacy groups are challenging Bell Canada’s tracking of how its wireless customers use the web, what they watch on TV and their phone call patterns.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Consumers’ Association of Canada have filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, arguing Bell’s data collection goes against policies that protect privacy.

Bell announced last November that it would collect consumers’ data to put targeted ads on mobile devices, improve its network performance and for marketing reports.

The company has said the data it collects will not be linked with a customer’s identity and they can opt out of the program.

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#CyberFLASH: What Secrets Your Phone Is Sharing About You

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Fan Zhang, the owner of Happy Child, a trendy Asian restaurant in downtown Toronto, knows that 170 of his customers went clubbing in November. He knows that 250 went to the gym that month, and that 216 came in from Yorkville, an upscale neighborhood.

And he gleans this information without his customers’ knowledge, or ever asking them a single question.

Mr. Zhang is a client of Turnstyle Solutions Inc., a year-old local company that has placed sensors in about 200 businesses within a 0.7 mile radius in downtown Toronto to track shoppers as they move in the city.

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