Bell Canada’s use of deep packet inspection triggers complaint over privacy


Bell Canada's use of deep packet inspection (DPI) technologies has resulted in a complaint raised over the potential invasion of privacy. The complaint was filed by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) with Canada's Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart.

Bell asserts that it looks only at packet headers and does not actually peek into the contents, citing that "the content itself is not actually reviewed, analyzed or stored." The CIPPIC, on the other hand, contends that even IP addresses are personal information as they can be used to track visited websites, or be linked to particular search engine queries. 

Indeed, current DPI appliances are sophisticated enough to reconstitute IM conversations, as well as peek at the contents of unencrypted data packets. Overall though, the issue here is less about IP addresses and more about privacy.

For more on deep packet inspection:
- check out this Ars Technica article