Privacy act debate

Members of the research and direct marketing industries will finally get a chance on Sept. 7 to represent their views on Bill C-62 before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.Industry will be represented at the talks by the Telecommunications Privacy Protection...

Members of the research and direct marketing industries will finally get a chance on Sept. 7 to represent their views on Bill C-62 before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Industry will be represented at the talks by the Telecommunications Privacy Protection Foundation and Agency (tppa).

Broad powers

Bill C-62 was passed by the federal government June 23 and goes into effect Oct. 25. It grants the crtc broad powers to prohibit or regulate unsolicited phone calls.

Specifically, the legislation is intended to give the crtc the ability to rein in the use by telemarketers of automatic dialing-announcing devices (adad), which marry computerized dialers to computerized voice machines.

Ivor Thompson, director of Toronto research firm Thompson Lightstone, says his industry is looking forward to the meeting because it is concerned the crtc might harm the research industry inadvertently at the same time that it leans on telemarketers.

Thompson, who is a member of the Canadian Advertising Research Foundation’s board of directors and a carf representative on tppa, says his greatest concern is that the crtc will order the telecommunications carriers to develop do-not-call lists.

Scott McClellan, communications manager with the Canadian Direct Marketing Association, says the cdma supports restrictions on adads as a means of curbing nuisance phone calls.

The cdma already operates a do-not-call list respected voluntarily by its 900 members.

Bell application

McClellan says none of the cdma’s members use adads for commercial solicitation, adding the cdma supports Bell Canada’s Aug. 6 application to the crtc for greater powers to regulate unsolicited calls.

Among the powers Bell is seeking is the right to restrict a given telemarketer from making more than one unsolicited call to a customer in any 30-day period. PA