Not inPhorming customers

April 2nd, 2008 § 0 comments


Trials of an online ad system carried out by BT involving more than 30,000 of its customers were potentially illegal, says a leading digital rights lawyer.

BT has said it trialled a prototype of Phorm, which matches adverts to users’ web habits, in 2006 and 2007.

The company did not inform customers that they were part of the trial.

Nicholas Bohm, of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, said tests without the knowledge of users were “an illegal intercept of users’ data”.

A spokesman for BT said the firm had no comment about the legality or illegality of the 2006 test.

It then goes on to say more testing will happen soon, but BT is asking people this time.

A thought has just occurred, and it’s just a small one. In these reports, it goes on about ‘users’ can opt out. I don’t imagine there are many single user computers about. So it will be computers that are opted out or not. I can’t really imagine the opt out with be easily found or the opt out status changed, for someone borrowing a computer for example.
We need to be very wary.

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