Friday, May 1, 2009

CRTC Fails to Grasp Simple Data Protection Concepts

After getting a phone call for a carpet cleaning request, I gave the following some thought! In Canada this is old news, but may be new for some of you.

The United States has one, Canada has one, but do they work?

No, I’m not talking about national leaders.

I’m talking about our respective national do not call registries. Canada’s is less than a year old and holds over six million records. While the United States has a 6 year-old fat repository holding over 70 million numbers.

Since the inception of the Canadian Do-Not-Call-List (DNCL) there have been numerous complaints about telemarketers calling people. It has raised national criticism as outlined in these two articles about the registry:

Toronto Star,
Tough Action can reverse do not call registry

Needless to say the American repository has guidelines and processes set in place about who can have the data in the list. One simple security feature is that only businesses with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service can be a purchaser of the list.

In Canada, as seen in the listed link below, anyone with bogus information can obtain the list, including problematic offshore telemarketers.

Global News Uncovers Serious Loophole in Do-Not-Call List

What the politicians and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) created is truly an effective tool not for the people of Canada but for telemarketers. This is entirely due to a lack of foresight, a lack of data management understanding and lack of basic data security practices. The fact that you can enter bogus data as identified in the Global clip, means they don't even have a grasp of proactive data quality concepts, as identified by Jim Harris in his Hyperactive Data Quality blog post.

This is an example of exceptionally poor data protection. The CRTC must rectify this as soon as possible, else they must be held accountable for their own inability to manage data.

Have they corrected their little data security fiasco? Visit the CRTC site and find out, I’m not interested in downloading a list of 6 million plus phone numbers, but maybe you are?

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