Briefing

Ontario Superior Court approves class action against Bell over alleged privacy violations

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The lawsuit centres on Bell’s now-discontinued Relevant Advertising Program (RAP), which tracked the telecom’s customers’ internet, phone and television activity and made profiles for third-party advertisers to target their ads with. The suit is expected to progress later this year, or in early 2020. (Toronto Star)

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Talking point: Bell could owe hundreds of millions in damages because of the program if the suit is successful. But it also has broader implications for tech giants that have made large profits by offering products for free and collecting user data to sell advertising in exchange. Bell isn’t the only company facing this kind of class action. Facebook is up against a similar suit in British Columbia, where residents in the province—as well as in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador—are alleging the firm used their images without their knowledge in an advertising program that’s since been pulled.