More CRTC bungling
In short, many people who signed up to the do not call list find themselves getting more calls than ever, including a lot more calls from criminal/fraudulent elements.
So why am I bemused? Because it's a government operation, and even worse a CRTC project, so the fact it's been totally bungled should really come as a surprise to nobody.
There are ever so many problems with the list, including what it is and how it works, which in some cases actually conflicts with out existing privacy laws (PIPEDA). And it was never really explained in terms of how it should work to Joe Consumer. So to begin with the expectations raised in the public mind weren't going to happen even if things did work out.
But they haven't worked out because in what has to be one of the most stunning acts of incompetence yet the CRTC is essentially providing a free, clean, list of contact information to tele-marketing agencies. Which seems a fine idea except that they made this list available to just about anyone which means that criminal set-ups were drooling all over themselves in a race to get the list.
Well done idiots.
There was of course a much better way to handle this. In fact several better ways. One was they could have imposed some regulation on the industry (you know, being a regulatory agency and all). For example they could have required that every tele-marketing company operating in Canada register with them (CRTC), and make a security deposit with them and then and only then get access to the list. Companies that then violated the DNC registry lose their deposit and their status as a legal tele-marketing operation. Then Joe Public can always inquire as to the legal status of a company phoning him.
Honestly this isn't that hard.
The CRTC meanwhile is reviewing the process and promises a quick response. By government standards this means that by mid-October they'll have a new and even worse idea.
Sometimes people ask me in my capacity as a database guy if I am scared of "big brother" government. And I tell them no. Because the government is way too clueless to be an effective monitoring agency of themselves, let alone anyone else. Bottom line, even if they have nefarious intent (which by and large I don't believe) they just aren't competent enough to pull it off.
But incompetence is a double edged sword, as in this case. While you don't need to spend many sleepless nights worrying about what "big brother" knows about you, you really, really, really shouldn't trust "big brother" to help you to protect your information either. Keeping your information private and safe really begins and ends with you.
Rob - Mar 2nd 2009 8:09 AM
Max - Mar 2nd 2009 8:57 AM
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