Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Canada

Freedom Mobile removes insurance coverage for lost or stolen phones

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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Freedom Mobile's phone protection plan is removing coverage for lost or stolen phones. In exchange, they are reducing the monthly fee by $1 (down to $9). This change was first noticed on Reddit by user Alphalee and you can read messages from upset customers (obviously).

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This change will come into effect on August 2nd, 2018. Repair service is now listed at $99 (was unlimited in the past).  It looks like this is an attempt to limit fraud and reduce insurance costs for Freedom Mobile. Their coverage seems to be underwritten by Asurion (same provider used by Telus, Bell, Virgin Mobile and Koodo.

The existing Mobile Freedom coverage still protect's devices from accidental damage (such as a broken screen or liquid damage). 

Calgary airport offers the best WIFI performance in Canada

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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Ookla, everyone's favourite speed test service has just published internet performance metrics for North American airports. Calgary Airport has been rated as the best performer of all Canadian airports and is the third best in North America.

  1. Seattle Tacoma International
  2. Denver International Airport
  3. Calgary International

Montreal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport was rated the worst. Toronto's expensive Toronto Pearson International Airport is rated 23rd.

Quebec to change tax collection rules for foreign tech companies

GeneralEdward Kiledjian1 Comment
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Montreal's La Presse newspaper is reporting that "two high-level government sources" have confirmed that the upcoming Quebec budget (March 27, 2018) will include new sales taxes levied on foreign tech companies like Netflix, Amazon, Google, and Apple, that do not have a Quebec presence. 

As it currently stands, these non-resident foreign companies are not expected to collect sales taxes from consumers. Under current regulations, the government expects consumers to auto-report these purchases and submit the necessary taxes. 

Based on a November report, the Quebec government believes it lost 270M$ during the previous fiscal year because of this collection model. 

Additionally, the government believes local merchants selling online are disadvantaged by the extra tax burden

The intent will be to:

  • collect sales tax on products and services (intangible) coming from outside of Canada
  • collect sales tax on physical goods physical goods coming from outside of  Canada
  • collect sales tax on goods (tangible or intangible) coming from the rest of Canada

La Presse reports that these new tax rules will be implemented regardless of Ottawa's position or opinion. 

Canadians can find out what data a company stores about them

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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The average consumer is starting to realize how much personal data companies collect about them. 

RELATEDHow Target knows you are pregnant through data analytics

Consumers should be concerned about what data is collected, how is is used and who it is shared with. 

Canadian privacy laws ( like Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) allow consumers to access their information (aka companies must respond to a request for personal information held by the company).

Principle 4.9: Upon request, an individual shall be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of his or her personal information and be given access to that information. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.
— PIPEDA

PIPEDA section 4.9 mandates that companies respond to Data Access Requests within 30 days of receipt. The information must be made available for free or at a reasonable cost.

Principle 4.9.4: An organization shall respond to an individual’s request within a reasonable time and at minimal or no cost to the individual.
— PIPEDA

Some companies use legally complex wording and vague statements in their privacy policies to hide the level of detail collected and to obfuscate how it is used. The Data Access Request allows any individual to understand (and see) what has been collected and what is being done with their information. 

What is a Data Access Request?

Toronto based Citizen Lab has created and operated a site called Access My Info. The site was created to simplify how Canadian's create and submit Data Access Requests using templates. 

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Testing it

I will submit a couple of test requests and see how companies respond. If you are a Canadian, I encourage you to try this as well.

Bell Mobility to unlock all devices

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment
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Bell is now offering to unlock all carrier locked devices, even second had devices for users that have never been Bell customers.

Prior to this policy, Bell Mobility only unlocked devices for current and former customers in good standing (you had to be the original buyer of the phone).

Telus and Rogers already have similar policies (unlocking all devices even second hand for non-customers).