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Bell faces class action suit over Relevant Ads program

Toronto law firms Sutts, Strosberg LLP and Charney Lawyers have launched a class action lawsuit against Bell Mobility and Bell Canada. The national suit seeks $750 million in compensation for Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile customers arising from Bell's Relevant Ads Program. The lawsuit seeks damages for breach of privacy, breach of contract and breach of the Telecommunications Act. It also seeks the appointment of an expert to oversee the destruction of the personal information collected by the program. A similar suit has been launched in the Province of Quebec.

According to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Relevant Ads Program tracked the usage behaviour of customers, including visited websites, mobile application usage, television viewing habits and telephone calls made. That information, along with other data, was used to display behaviourally targeted third-party advertising to consumers. Bell announced the cancellation of the two-year-old program earlier this week.

"The Relevant Ads Program was a misguided attempt by a Canadian telecommunications company to generate advertising revenue," said Ted Charney of Charney Lawyers. "If allowed to proceed, it constitutes a threat to the core privacy rights of all Canadians.

A website for the lawsuit has been created at <http://www.bellmobilityprivacybreach.com>.

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