A new study released today by the policy researchers Andrew Clement of the Universtiy of Toronto, and Jonathon Obar of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, in coordination with the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy looks at this exact question.
This study looked at the privacy practices of the top 43 Canadian internet service providers, and surprisingly finds that most of them will tell very little about what they do with your personal information. According to the study, many Canadian internet carriers are in violation of their legal responsibilities under Canadian Privacy Law.
The researchers based the internet service providers on 10 criteria including
- Whether they inform customers when a third party requests their information
- Whether they inform customers the circumstances in which they agree to the requests and provide customers information to said third parties.
- Whether they tell customers the location that their personal information is stored and processed
- Whether they attempt to avoid routing customers personal information outside of Canada, where it is at risk at being intercepted by American authorities.
The study reveals that a number of the top carriers in Canada in fact scored quite poorly on this scale. Our of the ten criteria, the average was two out of ten, which speaks to the issues around Canadian carriers.
Of the top isp’s in the country, the top scorer was the Ontario based Teksavvy with six stars. Telus received five stars for their services in Western Canada. While the other two members of the big three, Rogers and Bell, scored with scores of four and three stars respectively. Rounding out the major isp’s Shaw and Videotron were within the average at two stars each.
The researchers hope that this landmark study will lead to tougher Canadian privacy laws either through federal or provincial legislation. As well, they hope that carriers will become more transparent when it comes to providing customers information on how they handle their private data.
The issue with the lack of ISP transparency here in Canada, is it makes it difficult for domestic customers here in Canada to know who might be handing their data. No matter if it is the National Security Agency in the United States or the Canadian Security Intelligence Services here in Ottawa, their needs to legislated steps to protect personal data by the ISP’s.
The Office of the Privacy commissioner of Canada completed a poll on this subject, and its results showed that more and more Canadians continue to be concerned about their personal data. The poll found the majority of Canadians were not comfortable with government departments and agencies requesting personal information from ISP’s without a warrant. Further to this, Canadians continue to be concerned about how their data could be used for government surveillance without their knowledge. However it should be noted that nine of the top ISP’s received over one million requests from government departments for access to personal data on their servers. With very few of those requests denied by the ISP’s.
With this in mind, many of the discount ISP’s choose to route their services through transit carriers that are not located here in Canada to save money. When your information is routed, it loses all Canadian privacy protection, and allows for your information to be accessed by any third party, including the United States government.
If you are looking to protect your data, your best choice here in Canada is to trust the secure and stable experts at 4GoodHosting. We provide a stable and secure platform for your data, and unlike the leading ISP’s we do not share your data with third parties no matter what. As well, the only time we will release your data to the authorities is with a sealed court order. If you are looking for the best in security, the only choice here in Canada is 4GoodHosting.