How we collect and use data
In order to provide you products and services of interest to you as well as ongoing support, we collect certain personal information. This may be during the application process; when communicating with you in our stores, online and over the phone; and when you browse the Internet. We may also gather information about you from third parties, such as creditors or credit reporting agencies.
What is personal information?
Your personal information includes data that can identify you. Here are some examples:
- Your name, address, email address and phone number
- Information about the Virgin Plus products you subscribe to
- Your service usage details, such as call records or data usage
- Account information, such as your account status or method of payment
- Health and biometric information, if provided
To protect your privacy, we remove details that can identify you personally whenever possible.
Why do we gather personal information?
We collect personal information so we can:
- Establish a business relationship with you, for example to confirm your identity
- Ensure that your services are working correctly
- Understand your needs and preferences to recommend products, services and discounts that might interest you
- Understand how you use our products and services and how we can improve our offering
- Manage and develop our business, for example, monitoring usage volumes to plan for our networks, and tracking product sales to measure their success
- Meet legal and regulatory requirements, such as collecting information to comply with a CRTC regulation
Sharing your information
To get a better idea of your needs and how we can fulfill them, we sometimes share information between our companies.1 We only disclose personal information with parties outside our family of companies and suppliers when we are required to do or when you have given express consent for us to do so.
If our partners store or process your personal information outside Canada, they are legally bound to protect your data using strict privacy safeguards.
1“Our companies” refers to the following organizations and brands:
AAA Alarm Systems Ltd., Alarm Force Industries Inc. (Bell Smart Home, Bell Business Security and Automation), Axia, Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Bell ExpressVu LP (Bell TV), Bell Media, Bell Mobility, Bell MTS, Cablevision du Nord, DMTS, Epic Communications, KMTS, Lucky Mobile, Maskatel, NorthernTel, Northwestel Inc., Ontera, Solo Mobile, Telebec, The Source and Virgin Plus.
Publicly available information
Information that is publicly available may be collected and disclosed, such as a directory listing of your name, address and phone number. If you prefer not to have your listing information provided to select organizations, please contact us.
Your location information is confidential and we do not use it for any purpose without your express consent. However, we may use generalized location information to assist in analyzing our networks.
Cookies are small text files that your web browser creates as you use the Internet. The information they store does not personally identify who you are, but does allow a website to remember your actions or preferences – for instance, remembering the items you added to your shopping cart, or the preference you set to stay logged in to your account.
Information from cookies helps us provide a better web experience by telling us about the people who visit our sites and how they use them, such as:
- How often our websites are visited, from where and on what device or browser – this helps us ensure you can access our sites when and how you want to, on your preferred device
- What content on a site is popular and how visitors interact with it – knowing what is clicked on or shared helps us offer you useful information up front
While information we gather with cookies does not personally identify you, with your permission we are able to identify you if you sign in to one of our websites or apps.
Cookies are also used by our advertising partners to display ads that are relevant to you. For example, after visiting a Virgin Plus website, you may see an ad for Virgin Plus while browsing another website.
You can always disable cookies in your browser settings.
De-identifying data means removing information that could link the data back to you as an individual. If personal information is properly de-identified so that it can no longer be linked to you, the information is no longer considered personal.
To protect your privacy, we de-identify data where possible. We do this by:
- Removing details such as your name, government identification numbers (e.g. driver’s licence number) and other direct identifiers, as well as data that can identify you indirectly, such as your date of birth or gender
- Transforming details so they no longer identify you personally, such as storing just the first three letters rather than your full postal code, or using an age range rather than your date of birth
Advertising and marketing
Your information helps us understand your needs and preferences with the goal of offering you useful and timely information.
For example, if you’re making more long distance calls than usual we may let you know about a different plan or feature that could save you money. And when new products or enhanced services launch in your area, we’ll be sure to communicate with you.
Sometimes we send personalized advertising directly to the addresses and/or phone numbers you have provided to us, using:
- Direct mail
- Text messaging (SMS)
You can update your communication preferences at any time.
You may see our advertising from third-party marketing partners and on platforms (e.g. Facebook, Amazon, Google, and others). To offer you useful and timely messages, we and our partners use a mix of information, such as:
- Securely hashed and de-identified information shared with our partners in industry standard formats (e.g., email addresses or other non-sensitive information that is matched with information the partner already has in your online profile)
- Cookies and other web technologies that collect and use information from the Virgin Plus website and other websites
You can update your communication preferences at any time.
You can receive timely and useful offers from us and our partners by opting in to our optional tailored marketing program.
- We do not use your personal information to market third party products and services without your consent.
- We do not disclose your personal information to third parties for their own marketing purposes without your consent.
Learn more about our tailored marketing program and update your communication preferences to opt in or out of the program.
Manage your communication preferences
You can manage the types of ads you receive or opt out of communications by updating your preferences. You can also disable cookies in your browser settings.
- To opt out of direct mail and telemarketing offers, please call us at 1-888-999-2321.
- To opt out of email and text message offers, please update your communication preferences If you choose to opt out or make adjustments to the ads you see in your preferences, please know you may still see Virgin Plus advertising. However, the ads won’t be personalized.
Heads up: as part of your relationship with Virgin Plus, the important notices about your account or services will always be sent to you.
Analytics and artificial intelligence
Data analytics is the science of looking closely at data, uncovering information and drawing conclusions based on that information. We analyze customer data for a variety of reasons, such as to improve customer service, efficiency, safety and security, as well as to protect intellectual property.
There are four main types of data analytics:
- Descriptive analytics shows what happened, such as a spike in TV viewership during a popular sports event.
- Diagnostic analytics explains why something happened, for example, that a mobile phone outage was caused by a sudden surge in usage.
- Predictive analytics helps us foresee what might happen in the future based on past events. For example, predicting how many extra calls our customer service might get when a new service launches.
- Prescriptive analytics helps us identify a solution to a problem. For instance, understanding day-to-day Internet usage, unusual events and predicted future usage patterns might point to ways we can improve our network.
Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques accelerate decision-making processes by analyzing enormous amounts of data very quickly. This helps us improve your experience, as well as our products and services. For example, AI techniques might detect more calls than usual coming from a particular neighbourhood, recognize that a new service just launched there and automatically direct callers from that area to an agent with the right skills. We always review the decisions made by AI to ensure they are fair, lawful, and do not have unintended consequences.