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This Tool Reveals If Carriers Are Sharing your Personal Info with Government

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If you’re concerned about your privacy and how wireless carriers are handling your personal data, you can now find out directly with a new tool, reports the CBC.

Called “Access My Info”, the tool was created by some of Canada’s top privacy experts, created by OpenMedia.ca, the Citizen Lab and the Digital Stewardship Initiative.

Dr. Christopher Parsons, a fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs’ Citizen Lab, says “What we’re trying to do as researchers is identify what kind of data telecommunications companies in Canada collect, obtain, and process, and disclose to third parties.”

The tool helps you create a formal letter to send to wireless carriers, which legally are obliged to respond within 30 days under Canadian privacy law.

Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia.ca says the process of data collecting by telecoms still remains secret, noting “We don’t know a whole lot, but what we do know is quite alarming.”

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We tested out the tool (which you can access here), and the letter generated lists the following information you will request from your carrier:

  • All logs of IP addresses associated with me, my devices, and/or my account (e.g. IP addresses assigned to my devices/router, IP addresses or domain names of sites I visit and the times, dates, and port numbers)
  • Listing of ‘subscriber information’ that you store about me, my devices, and/or my account
  • Any geolocational information that you may have collected about me, my devices, and/or associated with my account (e.g. GPS information, cell tower information)
  • Text messages or multi-media messages (sent and received, including date, time, and recipient information)
  • Call logs (e.g. numbers dialled, times and dates of calls, call durations, routing information, and any geolocational or cellular tower information associated with the calls)
  • Information collected about me, or persons/devices associated with my account, using one of your company’s mobile device applications
  • Any additional kinds of information that you have collected, retained, or derived from the telecommunications services or devices that I, or someone associated with my account, have transmitted or received using your company’s services
  • Any information about disclosures of my personal information, or information about my account or devices, to other parties, including law enforcement and other state agencies

The letter template can be saved as a PDF so you can print out and mail. If there is an email request option, it will enable you to just send the letter within the form.

The tool will enable you to contact the following carriers: Bell, Bell Aliant, Eastlink, Cogeco, Distributel, Fido, Koodo Mobile, MTS Allstream, Primus, Rogers, Sasktel, Shaw, TekSavvy, TELUS, Videotron, Virgin Mobile, WIND Mobile and Xplornet.

Canadian telcos were previously reported to have had information requests from third parties such as law enforcement agencies like the RCMP, provincial, and municipal police, to federal government agencies like CSIS, CSEC and the CRA.

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner previously revealed government agencies ask telecoms for private data 1.2 million times annually.

Click here to generate your ‘Access My Info’ letter to see if your telecom has been sharing your data with third parties.

[via CBC]

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  • Joseph

    With the world’s eyes on the U.S’ NSA, it’s possible we’ve been ignoring this reality in Canada for too long.

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