Canadian Security Magazine

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Telus intros transparency report

Vancouver-based Telus Corp. says it received about 103,500 official requests for information about its customers last year.

Most of the requests – nearly 56,800 – were in emergency situations, such as to verify the location of 911 callers, while 40,900 other requests were for names and addresses that are publicly available through directories.

There were also about 4,300 court-ordered requests, mostly as part of domestic police investigations but also two foreign requests made under Canada’s treaty obligations.

The information is included in the telecom company’s first so-called “transparency” report, which Telus says is being issued because of the public’s heightened concern about the privacy of their personal information.

The federal privacy commissioner released documents in April that estimated the federal government asks Canadian telecom companies for private customer information about 1.2 million times each year.


Telus says it has sometimes launched court challenges to police requests that seem too broad but adds it’s necessary to recognize that quick responses may be needed when somebody’s life, health or security could be at risk.