We suggest that you start with our Privacy Commitment to You, which provides a summary of our customer privacy practices.
In case you still have questions regarding TELUS' privacy practices, we have provided an FAQ document. We updated this document in September 2016 to reflect the questions we most commonly hear from our customers.
Data analytics is the examination or analysis of data in order to gather useful insights or draw conclusions. TELUS conducts data analytics using customer data to manage and develop our business and operations, to understand your needs and preferences, and to develop, enhance, market or provide products and services to you.
At TELUS, we believe that data can also be used to benefit society (for social good), when used responsibly. With today's technology, we have access to more data that can be de-identified (personal identifiers are removed), aggregated and then studied to help partners make better decisions than ever before – decisions that can improve our lives, our health, our cities and our society.
We recognize that new uses of data can create new privacy challenges. It's now more important than ever to protect your privacy. While we look for new ways to deliver on the promise of data analytics, we remain steadfast in our promise to protect your privacy.
Value can be found in the overall trends and patterns drawn from mobile device location data, like pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow. For example, traffic flow information can assist governments in planning where to build new health services, how to alleviate traffic congestion or better evacuation routes in the event of a natural disaster. We believe that we can derive important insights that can benefit Canadians through the analysis of data that has been strongly de-identified before these types of analytics are even conducted. This is what we do at TELUS. By removing personal information, TELUS can help deliver the value of data analytics while still ensuring privacy for our customers.
We may provide de-identified data to third parties to assist in research, planning, or product and service development; we employ strong and effective de-identification mechanisms to ensure that our customers' personal information is not disclosed when we do so.
Let us illustrate with an example:
As technology evolves, massive amounts of data are generated every day. This is often referred to as "big data."
This data has tremendous potential to change our society for the better. Used responsibly, big data can help governments and businesses make important decisions based on facts, not assumptions.
It can be used to help plan safer and more sustainable cities, improve healthcare and boost local economies.
TELUS recognizes the potential of big data – and we want to use it to help answer big questions that will improve the lives of Canadians.
To use data in new and innovative ways, we must also find new ways of protecting and safeguarding our customers' personal information. This is why we work with prominent industry experts to lead the way when it comes to data privacy standards.
We know the potential in data is in the big insights we can derive, not in gaining access to an individual's personal information. That's why strong de-identification and aggregation are the most powerful tools for protecting privacy.
Big data starts with massive sets of information.
Before any analysis begins, all personal information is removed from the data so that it can't be linked back to an individual.
Then, the data is aggregated into large sets. Aggregation further protects privacy by using complex algorithmic models to group and summarize the data into bulk data sets.
Then, it's possible to analyze the data to find trends and draw insights, like population patterns, without compromising privacy.
TELUS can use these insights to help our partners, like municipalities, decide where to locate schools, health clinics and other public services.
By using strong de-identification techniques and aggregation, we can harness the potential of big data without sharing any personal information.
At TELUS, we know that with big data comes the big responsibility of safeguarding your privacy. It's just another way we put you first.
One of the choices we provide at TELUS is the opportunity for our mobility subscribers to opt-out of including their location information in de-identified form where the information or insights are intended to be disclosed to third parties to assist in research, planning, or product and service development, except where such sharing is required by law.
TELUS WISE (Wise Internet and Smartphone Education) is an industry-leading educational program on Internet and Smartphone safety that builds on TELUS' track record of partnering with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to offer similar educational information to Canadians. TELUS is introducing this program to our business customers for the benefit of their employees and their families.
2015 saw an increase, globally, in the number of articles, discussions and political debates about disclosures of personal information to government organizations for law enforcement purposes. Accurate information about the nature and volume of requests private companies receive from law enforcement for the personal information of Canadians helps inform this ongoing discussion and thus shape our country's privacy landscape. It is in that spirit that we once again provide this information in a readily-accessible annual document. This year marks the third year that we have contributed in this way to the privacy dialogue; we are proud of our record of being transparent with our customers about how we respectfully handle and secure their data.
For information about the requests we receive from law enforcement for the personal information of our customers, read our 2015 Transparency Report in our 2015 Annual Sustainability Report.