This is our fourth annual Transparency Report on the requests for information about our customers we received from government and law enforcement agencies and disclosing our policies and statistics remains very important to Rogers. Globally, the ways in which government and law enforcement agencies access their citizens’ private information was a hot-button issue in 2016, accompanied by a continued focus on how companies safeguard their customers’ information.
It is important to us that our customers know we are steadfast in our dedication to protecting their information – we only disclose it when required by law (including in emergency situations) – and we actively take steps to defend their privacy rights.
We are also committed to contributing to public safety as a good corporate citizen. This report reflects our commitment to respond as quickly and accurately as possible when we are compelled by law to provide information.
We consider it a privilege to act as a voice for our customers in the public discourse on privacy and public safety. It is why we remain active in legislative discussions, ensuring we have a seat at the table to help shape the legal framework. In 2016, for example, we attended government-led roundtables on access to basic subscriber information and participated in the Government of Canada’s National Security Consultation. This gave us the opportunity to raise concerns about potential changes to basic subscriber information requests, requirements for communications interception, and long-term customer data retention.
Last year we told you about the “Tower Dump” court case, in which we successfully fought a request that could have potentially impacted 30,000 of our customers. We felt the request was too broad. In 2016, we continued to be vigilant with these requests and pushed back against 60% of the “Tower Dump” orders we received, narrowing the requests so that information was only disclosed for about 10% of the customers who were part of the original request.
This year, for the first time, we are reporting the total number of customers impacted by requests for all categories, as we are now able to fully quantify the customer impact of “Tower Dump” requests. The impact of this change results in an increase of about 37,000 requests compared to the previous reporting methodology, however, excluding this change the number of requests has remained relatively stable compared to last year. We have also split out the category of “Rejected or Unable to Provide Information” into two distinct categories, “Rejected” and “Not Available”, to provide even more transparency.
Our Transparency Report is a source of pride for us at Rogers as we strive to protect our customers’ privacy rights, while being a good corporate citizen and contributing to public safety in Canada. We welcome any feedback you may have regarding the report and look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to create a safer and more secure privacy environment.
Chief Privacy Officer