Order Varying Telecom Decision CRTC 95-14 and Requiring the CRTC to Report on the Matter of Directory Subscriber Listings

SOR/96-322

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT

Registration 1996-06-25

Order Varying Telecom Decision CRTC 95-14 and Requiring the CRTC to Report on the Matter of Directory Subscriber Listings

P.C. 1996-1001 1996-06-25

Whereas, on March 8, 1995, by Telecom Decision CRTC 95-3, entitled Provision of Directory Database Information and Real-Time Access to Directory Assistance Databases, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “CRTC”) granted independent telephone directory publishers access to non-confidential residential telephone listing information, available in machine-readable form, held by Stentor member companies, except Manitoba Telephone System and Newfoundland Tel;

Whereas, by that Decision, the CRTC also ordered telephone companies to implement new privacy safeguards with respect to the distribution of non-confidential residential telephone listing information to third parties, including a 1-800 toll-free number through which customers could request that their information be removed from listing information intended for distribution to third parties;

Whereas, on March 28, 1995, White Directory of Canada, Inc. requested the CRTC to waive the application of the de-listing mechanism to independent telephone directory publishers on condition that they not resell, rent or otherwise dispose of listing information to any third party;

Whereas, on June 27, 1995, by Telecom Decision CRTC 95-14, entitled White Directory — Application to Review and Vary Decision 95-3, the CRTC, in a majority decision, declined to waive the application of the de-listing mechanism to independent telephone directory publishers as requested by White Directory of Canada, Inc.;

Whereas, on August 25, 1995, a petition was filed by independent publishers Southam Inc., Thomson Newspapers Company Limited, White Directory of Canada, Inc. and Koocanusa Publications Inc. requesting that Telecom Decision CRTC 95-14 be varied to ensure that telephone companies make available to them the same non-confidential residential listing information that they provide their directory publishing affiliates for the purpose of producing telephone books, on condition that the listing information not be resold, rented or otherwise disposed of to any other third party;

Whereas, in accordance with subsection 12(4) of the Telecommunications Act, a notice of receipt of that petition was published by the Minister of Industry in the Canada Gazette Part I on November 11, 1995;

Whereas, in accordance with section 13 of the Telecommunication Act, the Minister of Industry has provided an opportunity for provincial consultations;

Whereas the Governor in Council has considered that fair and sustainable competition in the directory publishing market is in the public interest and agrees with the reasons of the minority decision included in Telecom Decision CRTC 95-14;

Whereas the Governor in Council, having considered the above-noted petition, is satisfied that the CRTC’s majority decision not to waive the application of the de-listing mechanism should be varied to endorse the minority decision included in Telecom Decision CRTC 95-14, on condition that directory subscriber listings made available to independent telephone directory publishers in machine-readable form be used solely for the purpose of publishing telephone directories and not resold, rented or otherwise disposed of to third parties;

Whereas section 14 of the Telecommunications Act provides that the Governor in Council may require the CRTC to make a report on any matter within the Commission’s jurisdiction under that Act;

Whereas the Governor in Council has determined that it is in the public interest that the CRTC examine the appropriate level of protection that should be accorded to subscriber listings of other communications service providers such as

  • (a) Internet and electronic mail subscriber listings,

  • (b) facsimile subscriber listings,

  • (c) cellular and personal communications services (P.C.S.) subscriber listings, and

  • (d) subscriber listings of other emerging services

and that the issue of protection of subscriber information should be examined in light of the growing impact that telecommunications and electronic services are having on the privacy of citizens;

Whereas the Governor in Council has determined that the pricing of the unlisted number service may deter subscribers from de-listing their personal information from telephone companies’ directories and that such a service should be made available to subscribers of other telecommunication services;

Whereas the Governor in Council has determined that privacy safeguards should be cost-effective and competitively neutral and should not unduly interfere with the introduction of new services;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry,

  • (a) pursuant to section 12 of the Telecommunications Act, hereby varies Telecom Decision CRTC 95-14 by substituting for the majority decision the minority decision included therein; and

  • (b) pursuant to section 14 of the Telecommunications Act, hereby requires the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to report on the matter of directory subscriber listings, including the appropriate level of protection that should be accorded to subscriber listings and an evaluation of the unlisted number service, on or before December 30, 1996.

 
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