Answers to common privacy questions
To help you better understand our privacy practices and our commitment to safeguarding customer personal information, we have published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as a supplement to our Privacy Commitment. The questions below have been asked by our customers, and we use specific examples to be clear and transparent about our collection, use and disclosure of customers' personal information. We will continue to update this page as technology and customers’ interests evolve, and we will endeavor to promptly answer any additional questions you pose to us by phone or email.
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our privacy practices.
Last updated December 20, 2018
TELUS collects and uses personal information about you and your use of the products and services we provide, primarily in order to serve you better. This information is kept only as long as it’s required for business purposes, such as billing and continued service, or as required by law. More specifically, we collect and use personal information for various reasons, including:
To establish and maintain a responsible commercial relationship with you and to provide ongoing service.
- When you apply for a service we collect information that allows us to confirm your identity and, if necessary, to conduct a credit check. We also use some personal information to confirm your identity when you contact us. For example, when you call us, we may need personal information to verify it’s actually you and not someone trying to access your account without authorization.
- For billing purposes, we collect records of the services you use, such as telephone numbers, times, dates and durations of incoming and outgoing cellular calls and billable home phone calls (i.e., long-distance calls) or movies.
- If you sign up for our Future Friendly Home services (i.e., Internet, TV, home phone) we use your address and other relevant information in order to provide those services to your home.
- We also record your Optik TV channel subscriptions in order to know which channel signals to transmit to your TV set-top box.
To understand your needs and preferences.
- We maintain a record of the products and services you receive from us, and we may collect additional information about the usage levels and patterns associated with those products and services.
- Some of the data we collect or use for this purpose includes your wireless device information, such as telephone number, SIM card number, operating system, network type, manufacturer, model and make, and IMEI serial number.
- We may also collect additional information so that we can serve you better, according to your needs and preferences, including details of the products and services you receive from us, such as your wireless device rate plan; Optik TV channel subscriptions or high-speed Internet rate plan.
- We may collect or infer information about you or your preferences for particular products, services or lifestyle activities from information you provide us about yourself when you tell us your preferences, or when your usage activities indicate what your preferences are.
- We have an automated system that analyzes your Optik TV viewing preferences in order to suggest shows or channels you may be interested in; for example, through the on-screen suggestions in our Optik On Demand service or directly from a customer service representative.
To develop, enhance, market or provide products and services.
- We may examine your wireless calling patterns in order to recommend a new monthly plan that saves you money.
- We may analyze your use of our products and services to better understand your preferences, to help us develop or enhance our products and services, and to help us provide better product recommendations and special offers that we think will interest you.
- We may note that you have a phone and internet and offer you a discount if you bundle with TV and/or wireless service.
- We might recommend a new service or TELUS app that we think you’ll enjoy based on your existing services with us or the apps you use. To be clear, we do not collect the content of the apps you use.
- We note that our customers who do not wish to receive these types of recommendations or offers may choose to be removed from our marketing lists at any time.
To manage and develop our business and operations.
- We may collect personal information to help us manage our day-to-day operations efficiently, and to manage our infrastructure, including securing it and planning for future growth.
- We analyze how many customers use our wireless sites at what times of the day to help us plan new infrastructure. We also look at records associated with text and multimedia messages - which includes the date and time of sent and received messages, but not the content itself, as well as the associated phone numbers and cell towers.
- We analyze records associated with calls made on our cellular network including location data (i.e., locations of the cell towers that handled the communications) and at what times of day to help us plan for future infrastructure investment.
- We may use video surveillance to monitor and/or record the activity that occurs around TELUS stores, premises or infrastructure, including wireless sites. We may also use unmanned air vehicles (drones) to inspect our remote wireless or network sites (i.e., cell towers). This information is used to maintain our networks or for security and investigation purposes to protect us from theft, vandalism or damage to our property.
- We may look at usage data on our high-speed Internet network to help us improve reliability and stability. We collect and use IP addresses and port numbers that our customers are assigned, have connected to or attempted to connect to. This allows us to continue offering Internet connectivity.
- We also monitor activity on our networks to detect and prevent fraud to protect both our customers and our business.
To meet legal and regulatory requirements.
- For example, responding to a court order, to provide regulated telecommunications services to you or to maintain compliance with our tax reporting obligations.
The types of information we collect from our customers generally fall into one of the following categories:
To establish and maintain a responsible commercial relationship with you and to provide ongoing service, which includes:
- When you apply for services, we collect information such as name, address, date of birth, preferred language, TELUS account number(s), any other authorized users, unique account security PIN(s) and email address, as well as credit card or bank information for pre-authorized payments.
- In order to confirm your identity and/or conduct a credit check, we may also ask for acceptable identification or identifying information.
- If you use a TELUS application such as our My Account app, our Optik TV mobile apps or Network Experience app, we collect the information reasonably necessary to authenticate you and provide the service.
- For billing purposes, we collect records of the services you use, such as; telephone numbers, times, dates, and durations of incoming and outgoing cellular calls; and billable home phone calls or movies.
- To assist you in understanding your bill, we also collect information about how the services or apps used on any of the devices on your account contribute to data usage.
To understand your needs and preferences, which includes:
- Details of the products and services you receive from us, such as your wireless device rate plan.
- Optik TV channel subscriptions or high-speed Internet rate plan.
- Your wireless device information, such as telephone number, SIM card number, operating system, network type, manufacturer, model and make, and IMEI serial number.
To develop, enhance, market or provide products and services, which includes:
- Records of the services you use, to serve you better or to develop and market new ones.
- Analysis of location data to provide new or enhanced products and services. For example, if we notice you are roaming outside of the TELUS network with your wireless device, we may offer you a roaming package.
To manage and develop our business and operations, which includes:
- Records of the telephone numbers, times, dates, and durations of incoming and outgoing cellular calls, and billable home phone (i.e., long distance) calls.
- Records associated with calls made on our cellular network including location data (i.e., locations of the cell towers that handled the communications). This helps us plan future infrastructure investment.
- Records associated with text and multimedia messages, which includes the date and time of sent and received messages, as well as the associated phone numbers and cell towers.
- IP addresses and port numbers that our customers are assigned, have connected to or attempted to connect to. This allows us to continue offering Internet connectivity.
- Information about visits to our websites (such as www.telus.com) to optimize our TELUS web properties and for security purposes.
- We record interactions, such as telephone calls or chats, to or from TELUS service representatives for quality assurance and training purposes; our systems may also conduct real-time analytics on such interactions in order to identify trends and patterns to help us serve you better.
To meet legal and regulatory requirements, which includes:
- Your wireless device location for specific purposes, such as when you dial 911 and we provide GPS and triangulation data to the 911 operations centre.
Some things we don’t collect:
- Content of telephone conversations made across our networks, with the exception of voicemails (so we can deliver them) and calls made to our call centers.
- Content of the applications you use and content of text or multimedia messages.
- Satellite GPS location of customers. However, if a customer’s wireless device has GPS capability, we may be able to determine the location of that device in real time. For example, we may access this information in response to a court order or when you call 911 in order to help first responders locate you in an emergency.
We do not intentionally collect personal information from minors without permission from a parent or legal guardian, except for certain contests where we might open the contest to those 13 years or older and collect contact information but solely for the administration of the contest.
But we go further than that. We know how important it is to ensure our kids are safe online. That is why we developed TELUS Wise®. Free-of-charge, TELUS Wise offers interactive and informative workshops and content to help Canadian youth have a positive experience as digital citizens. Topics include protecting your online security, privacy, and reputation, rising above cyberbullying, and using technology responsibly. Visit telus.com/wise to learn more.
TELUS has a Data & Trust Office that is responsible for maintaining an accountable privacy management program specifically designed to protect your privacy and for setting policies and procedures to earn and maintain your trust in our data handling practices.
As a core commitment of TELUS, all members of the TELUS team are accountable for protecting the privacy of our customers and team members, and all team members play a role in earning and maintaining our customers’ trust. Whether we are developing products and services, interacting directly with our customers in their homes or in a call centre, marketing our products and services, supporting our technology infrastructure or designing security solutions, part of our “Customers First” philosophy is putting customers’ privacy first. Not only is this part of our privacy commitment to our customers and team members, but this is also part of our commitment to integrity in all that we do, every day.
TELUS has robust training and awareness programs, including annual mandatory Integrity training that is provided to 100% of employees, including contractors with access to TELUS information systems.
We have embraced the 7 foundational principles of Privacy by Design, striving to embed these privacy-enhancing principles into all of our product and service development processes.
TELUS maintains a robust information security governance program to protect your personal information with appropriate security safeguards. We safeguard customer data through administrative, physical and technical security controls. We protect the privacy of your personal information through contractual and other means when we are working with other companies.
Privacy Risk Management
A vital part of our commitment to you is to protect your privacy through ongoing, systematic identification of privacy risks so that those risks can be mitigated or avoided. We embrace the 7 foundational principles of Privacy by Design and strive to build privacy protections into our products and services from the outset; TELUS also uses a variety of risk identification tools to identify and assess privacy risk, including:
- Privacy Impact Assessments;
- Security Risk Assessments / Threat Risk Assessments;
- Audits by our Internal Audit team;
- Privacy risk reviews of a business process;
- The investigation of a privacy complaint or inquiry.
Securing Your Data
To learn more about our privacy risk identification tools, please read our Privacy Management Program.
Moreover, we use industry-leading best practices and cutting edge technology to protect your information. Importantly, TELUS has a strong culture of privacy and security and all team members and contractors are trained on the importance of maintaining the privacy and security of our customers. To learn more about our commitment to security, please visit us at TELUS Security.
TELUS takes the privacy and security of our customers very seriously. In that regard, we have developed the TELUS Data Incident Readiness and Response Playbook designed to facilitate a coordinated and timely response to the detection, management and remediation of privacy incidents. We recognize that it is important to respond with a sense of urgency when an incident occurs involving personal information and to take decisive action to contain the incident and, where appropriate, to notify customers who are impacted, or our regulators, in a timely manner.
When an incident does occur, we assure you that we are committed to fully investigating it, mitigating any risks arising from it, implementing safeguards designed to prevent it from happening again and, more generally, making it right with you, our customers. If and when an incident occurs that could impact you, putting you at risk of harm, we will contact you via phone, text or email, and depending on the type of incident, we will post information on a web page to keep you informed of any relevant updates as we work to remedy the incident.
Empowering our customers
We also believe that an important part of protecting your privacy is sharing with you best practices on what you can do to protect your own privacy and security. To learn more about:
- recognizing phishing and spam;
- protecting your devices;
- protecting yourself from identity theft and fraud;
- surfing the internet safety, and
- creating strong passwords
please visit our Protecting Your Privacy page.
At TELUS we believe in empowering all Canadians to stay safe in our digital world. Free-of-charge, TELUS Wise® offers interactive and informative workshops and content to help Canadians of all ages have a positive experience as digital citizens. Topics include protecting your online security, privacy, and reputation, rising above cyberbullying, and using technology responsibly. Visit TELUS Wise to learn more.
We only share a customer’s personal information with third parties in limited circumstances, in accordance with our service terms and our customer Privacy Commitment. Even when we do share information, we share only what is required for the specific purpose. We do not disclose personal information to marketers of third-party products and services either to enable targeted advertising, or for any other purpose, unless you have expressly opted into such a disclosure or service.
Examples of when we may share a customer’s personal information include:
- With another telecommunications company, for the efficient and cost-effective provisioning of telecommunications services, such as when you are roaming outside of the TELUS network.
- With a company involved in supplying a customer with telecommunications or directory-related services, for example, Yellow or White Page listings, when you residential telephone number is published in the directory.
- With credit bureaus to evaluate creditworthiness, for monthly reporting purposes on the status of your payment history with TELUS, or to collection agencies to collect an account if your account has been referred for collection.
- With our suppliers, agents or other organizations contracted to TELUS that require the information to assist us in serving you. Examples of such suppliers may include: a bill printing company that assists us with printing your monthly statement (if you receive it by mail) or to a company hired to perform installation services on our behalf at your home or place of business or to a technology company that assists us in analyzing internet performance.
- Important note: When we provide personal information to suppliers, we only provide the information that is required for the third party to perform the services we have contracted them to provide. In addition, our agreements ensure that the supplier can only use the information for the purpose we provide it to them and suppliers must agree to abide by the confidentiality terms in our contracts, including the requirement to respect your privacy.
- With a law enforcement agency or other government agency, if required to meet legal and regulatory requirements; for example, if TELUS is required to provide records to law enforcement in response to a court order.
TELUS will challenge information requests from the courts, a law enforcement agency or other government agency if we believe the query goes beyond what is lawful. For example, we will challenge any request or court order that we believe goes beyond what a judge is authorized to order under applicable legislation, such as the Criminal Code, and we will only release confidential customer information when we are satisfied it is appropriate to do so. When necessary, we will take an issue to court, as demonstrated by a challenge we launched in early 2014, to a court order that would have required TELUS to disclose to a law enforcement agency the names, addresses, phone numbers and billing information of more than 9,000 TELUS wireless customers who happened to be using their wireless devices in the vicinity of certain TELUS towers during specific periods of time. TELUS believed that the order was unnecessarily broad in scope, and therefore unlawful. The issue was resolved early in 2016, with the Ontario Superior Court ruling that the request was indeed unlawful. We were grateful that the ruling both focused on the protection of our customers’ privacy and provided greater clarity about how much information police can request about Canadians in “tower dump” cases.
Personal information collected by TELUS may be stored and processed in Canada or another country.
In either case, the information is protected with appropriate security safeguards, but may be available to foreign government agencies under applicable law.
You should also note that while roaming outside Canada the storage, treatment and transfer of your personal information and data may be subject to laws or regulation different from those in Canada.
No. Unless you provide your express consent, TELUS does not disclose your personal information to marketers of third-party products either to enable targeted advertising or for any other purpose.
Yes, TELUS conducts data analytics using customer data for internal purposes including managing and developing our business and operations; understanding your needs and preferences; and to develop, enhance, market or provide products and services to you. For example, we might examine your wireless calling patterns to recommend a new monthly plan that saves you money, or your TV viewing habits to suggest a channel we think you’ll enjoy.
TELUS also analyzes aggregated network information, such as records of communications sent and received by our customers on our networks, in order to manage and develop our business and operations. For example, understanding calling patterns to wireless sites over time helps us identify where network congestion will occur in the future and allows us to plan our infrastructure investment to serve you better.
TELUS may also provide de-identified and aggregated data sets to third parties in order to identify trends and patterns, and gain insights that can be used to better understand and solve complicated problems. While these insights may be shared with third parties such as municipalities, provincial or federal government departments or agencies, corporations and tourism bureaus, your personal information will not be shared. For example, TELUS may use large sets of de-identified and aggregated cell tower data to analyze traffic flow patterns, helping a municipality identify areas of congestion to help them plan more effective transit routes.
To learn more about how TELUS protects your privacy using de-identified and aggregated data, visit the data analytics section of our privacy site.
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.
If you wish to opt-out, please enter your mobile number on our opt-out page.
One of the many ways we put you first is to offer you the choice in how your personal information is used. You can:
- Have your name removed from our marketing lists. However, this means that we will not inform you of relevant products, services and special offers that may be of benefit to you.
- Exclude your name from directory listings (i.e., Yellow or White Page listings).
- Refuse to provide personal information to us or withdraw consent previously provided, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice. Please note that doing so may limit our ability to serve you or may force us to cancel some or all of the services you receive from us.
- If you want to exercise any of the above choices, you may contact us by *611 from your TELUS mobile phone or by calling 1-866-558-2273.
- In addition to the above options about your personal information, TELUS also offers you the option to opt-out of including your 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. If you wish to opt-out of these types of programs, please follow the instructions in Question 11.
TELUS has appointed a Chief Data & Trust Officer who oversees the TELUS Data & Trust Office, responsible for maintaining an accountable privacy management program specifically designed to protect your privacy, and for setting policies and procedures to earn and maintain your trust in our data handling practices.
The TELUS Privacy Request Center is a specialized team to assist customers with privacy inquiries and accessing their personal information. You may contact them at:
TELUS Communications Inc.
Privacy Request Centre
PO Box 2590, Station M
We care about your privacy and we want to make sure your concerns are addressed. We have a two-step process that allows you to escalate your concern if you are not satisfied with the information we provide in response to your inquiries or concerns:
Step 1: Please start by contacting our Privacy Request Centre (contact information noted in Question 14).
Step 2: If the Privacy Request Centre cannot address your concern, they will refer your complaint to our Data & Trust Office who will work with you to resolve the matter.
If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who is responsible for investigating complaints under the Personal Information Protection Documents Act (PIPEDA):
The Office of Privacy
Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Personal information is defined in PIPEDA as any information about an identifiable individual, other than the name, title or business address (including business email address) or business telephone or fax numbers of an employee of an organization.
TELUS uses the same definition. Generally, we are dealing with information about customers or employees such as a customer’s credit information, billing records, service and equipment, and any recorded complaints. Personal information does not include de-identified or aggregated information that cannot be associated with a specific individual.
Information about sole proprietors or partners is only considered to be “personal information” if it is information about the individuals themselves, as distinct from information about their businesses. The latter is protected by other TELUS policies and practices and through contractual business arrangements.
In most circumstances, by installing a third-party application on a mobile device or clicking on a banner ad within an existing application on the device, the user is allowing the application to access their personal information. Such personal information could include the user’s phone book, location, contacts, browsing history and phone number. TELUS has no involvement in this process as we have no control over your use of third-party applications. It is very important to review the service terms and privacy policies associated with third-party applications to understand how your personal information will be collected, used and disclosed.
Free-of-charge, TELUS Wise® offers interactive and informative workshops and content to help Canadians of all ages have a positive experience as digital citizens. Topics include protecting your online security, privacy, and reputation, rising above cyberbullying, and using technology responsibly.
From time-to-time, we may update our Privacy Commitment and/or our Privacy Code as technology and customers’ interests evolve, and as privacy or other applicable legislation is updated. We will notify you of significant changes by posting the change on our website and including a notice with your bill or other means. These FAQs are updated from time to time, largely to reflect answers to the most commonly asked questions, and to provide greater clarity and transparency, as required.