Privacy, transparency and regulatory compliance
At TELUS, we recognize that customer trust is critical to participation in the digital economy. We earn and maintain customers’ trust by vigilantly protecting their personal information and using data in a way that generates value, promotes respect and delivers security.
Our Data & Trust Office ensures that our data handling practices are responsible and respectful of customers’ privacy. Today's technology provides access to vast amounts of data that could be used to make better decisions that will benefit our society. To do this, we have implemented ethical reviews of data-related initiatives and also believe in the value of strong de-identification of applicable data sets. We work to evolve our privacy and data governance models so that the protections we put in place for our customers are up to date with technological advancements that may carry privacy implications. Learn more about the TELUS trust model here.
We have embraced Privacy by Design (PbD) as an essential component of our privacy management program. PbD is a set of seven principles that the former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Ann Cavoukian developed. These principles have become a globally recognized framework for the protection of privacy. PbD seeks to proactively embed privacy into the design specifications of information technologies, organizational practices and system architectures.
Our privacy commitment
At TELUS, we believe that an important part of protecting privacy is to be clear about how we handle customers’ personal information, and to make information about our approach easily accessible and understandable.
To help our customers understand our privacy practices, we have created information sources that explain those practices in our online Privacy Centre which was updated in 2019. This includes extensive information about our data handling practices and privacy commitments. We are committed to regularly reviewing this information to make certain content is relevant and consistent with changing technologies and laws, and continue to meet our customers’ evolving needs.
Accurate information about the nature and volume of personal information requests by law enforcement to private companies helps inform the ongoing global discussion about the collection and handling of personal information by government organizations. As a national telecommunications company, we routinely receive requests for information about our telecommunications customers from law enforcement agencies and other government organizations.
It is in that spirit that we have included our seventh annual Transparency Report in our 2019 Sustainability Report, which provides insight into our approach for responding to personal information requests as well as the volume and types of requests we receive. We are proud of our record of openly sharing with our customers the details about how we respectfully handle and secure their data.
We understand the important role regulation plays for our operating environment and to our customers. We continue to be an advocate for positive regulatory changes, demonstrating compliance with legislation, regulatory rules and requirements while delivering vital and reliable products and services. Our compliance differentiates us from our competitors. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decisions and court rulings continue to support the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over telecommunications, including the construction, maintenance and operation of network infrastructure. These outcomes reaffirm that federal jurisdiction cannot be circumvented by municipal legislation. Such decisions and court rulings include:
Telecom Decision, CRTC 2019-19, Municipal Rights-of-Way Bylaw and a proposed Municipal Consent and Access Agreement
Telecom Decision CRTC 2019-31, City of Gatineau – Terms and conditions of a municipal access agreement with certain carriers
Québec Court of Appeal ruling, Procureure générale du Québec c. Vidéotron, 2019 QCCA 840
For further details on regulatory impacts to our business, see section 10.3 of our 2019 Annual Report.
Preventing spam and nuisance calls
Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) is intended to protect Canadians from spam (e.g. marketing emails, text messages) and other electronic threats, while allowing companies to compete in an increasingly digital world. We maintain a CASL compliance program that includes consent and form requirements that apply to commercial electronic messages sent to customers by or on behalf of TELUS. Our Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules (UTR) compliance program includes effective customer-controlled nuisance call filtering processes.
Our team members receive up to date training and education with respect to TELUS’ CASL and UTR obligations to ensure compliance with CASL while also enabling customers to receive our products and services information in accordance with their preferences. Additionally, we have developed call control service, an advanced call filtering system that is very effective at blocking auto-dialed nuisance calls.
The CRTC has an established net neutrality framework with respect to internet traffic and we remain in full compliance. The legislative framework for net neutrality is included in the Telecommunications Act as well as mandated in CRTC decisions governing internet traffic management practices and differential pricing practices.
Wireless and internet code
The CRTC’s wireless code is a mandatory code of conduct for all retail mobile wireless voice and data services providers offering services to consumer and small business customers. The code sets baseline requirements for customer rights and service provider responsibilities. We submit a wireless code compliance report to the CRTC each year in accordance with their requirements.
The CRTC’s mandatory internet code came into force in January 2020, for large facilities-based internet service providers that have retail fixed internet access. While the code sets baseline requirements for customer rights and service provider responsibilities, we strive to exceed these baseline elements as part of our customers first commitment.
We work to make certain that our products and services are accessible to all of our customers. We believe in integration and equal opportunity and are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities. We will do this by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility, and meeting and exceeding legislated accessibility requirements.
In this effort, we conduct third party audits of wireless devices on a regular basis against a list of individual accessibility features and against 11 accessibility personas. We list the mobile devices that have passed through our accessibility audits and support accessibility features on our website. We also ensure that any new TELUS apps and web pages follow accessibility guidelines and standards.
Our accessibility policy is available online, and a full description of our various products and services can be found here.
Wireless public alerting
TELUS is a proud supporter of the wireless public alerting system which provides wireless customers with immediate notice of an emergency that is occurring, or about to occur, in their local area. Further details of Canada’s emergency public alerting system and a demonstration of how the alert appears and sounds on a wireless device are available at the Alertready.ca.
"Notice and Notice" provisions in the Copyright Act require internet service providers to forward notices received from copyright-holders about alleged acts of copyright infringement to relevant customers. We voluntarily forward notices of alleged infringement and have complied with Notice and Notice requirements since they came into force.
As a means of supporting the democratic process, TELUS may occasionally provide political contributions. Any contributions are made in accordance with all applicable laws, as well as our Code of Ethics and Conduct and our Political Contributions policy. In addition to annual TELUS disclosure in this report, details regarding political contributions are publicly available on applicable jurisdictions’ election agency and campaign disclosure websites.