May 13,2008 00:00
OTTAWA -- Canada's privacy commissioner is investigating allegations major Internet service providers can monitor customers' online activities without consent.
The University of Ottawa's Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic complained the practice is contrary to the country's privacy legislation, the Canwest News Service reported Tuesday.
At issue is technology called Deep Packet Inspection, which providers use to slow Internet traffic during peak times for users taking a lot of bandwidth with such activities as video downloads.
The clinic alleges DPI can be used to reassemble e-mail messages and to keep track of Web searches and sites visited to create profiles for targeted marketing campaigns.
However, Ken Englehart, the head of regulatory affairs for Rogers Communications, said the company has no interest in content but rather speed.
"We don't know what that content is. We don't know whether it's video or voice," he told the news service. "It's just being done to separate the content into two streams, so we don't think there is any privacy issue whatsoever."
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