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09/05/2012

CRTC concerned over app privacy

Canada’s national telecom regulator is butting heads with app developers over apps that blow your privacy out of the water.

According to the Globe and Mail, one such app that irked the CRTC was TrapCall.

The app, which was available for a short time in Canada before it got shut down, would show a caller’s ID even if the number was blocked or unlisted.

TrapCall was shunned by the CRTC after existing for five months and signing up hundreds of thousands of users in Canada.

Why? Privacy concerns.

The regulator argues that at-risk users, such as domestic violence victims and police “could face threats to their safety,” according to the Globe.

The CRTC seems to be increasingly worried about these types of apps that lift the lid on people’s privacy. And it’s not like the user, or their carrier, will know someone is using an app that circumvents privacy controls.

On the other side of exposing private numbers are apps that spoof phone numbers.

Burner, for example, is an app that uses a fake phone number to send text messages or make phonecalls. In theory, this could be used for dating (want to avoid giving out your real number?) or calling the guy listed on a shady Craigslist ad.

Should the CRTC be stepping in to prevent Canadians from downloading and using these apps?

- Murice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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