The CRTC dismisses case against Bell’s Relevant Advertising Program

Bell sign

Bell won’t be the subject of a new Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) investigation, at least not in the near future. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Canada’s head telecom regulatory body says it has dismissed a complaint against the company and its recently scrapped Relevant Advertising Program.

The decision to forgo an investigation comes as a result of the fact Bell has already shut down the program following a report from Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). According to a report obtained by The Globe and Mail, the regulatory body says the two consumer advocacy groups that asked it to issue a ruling on the program, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC), did not provide evidence that suggested there was a compelling enough reason to keep looking at the case.

In April, Bell agreed to scrap the program after Canada’s privacy commissioner criticized the initiative for forcing the company’s customers to manually opt out of having their browsing habits tracked and sold to advertisers.

Despite the fact Bell complied with the OPC’s decision, the PIAC and CAC asked the CRTC to continue looking into the case, as the two organizations had complained to the regulatory about Bell’s Relevant Advertising program prior to the OPC issuing its decision. In addition,  they argued the situation presented an ideal opportunity for the CRTC to look more broadly into how Canada’s telecoms collect and use their customer’s data.

However, in the same report, the CRTC notes it will continue to monitor and act upon privacy-related issues as they come up.

[source]CRTC[/source][via]Globe and Mail[/via]