Police close file on BT's trials

The City of London Police have said there will be no formal investigation of BT over its secret trials of an ad monitoring system.

BT trialled the Phorm system - which monitors web browsing habits in order to better target ads - without the consent of users last summer.

Angry users handed over a dossier of evidence to the police following the telco's July annual general meeting.

But the police said no criminal offence has been committed.

"They said that there was no criminal intent on behalf of BT and that there was implied consent because the service was going to benefit customers," said Alex Hanff, one of the chief campaigners in the case.

Nicholas Bohm, a lawyer with thinktank Foundation for Information Policy Research, said the police response was "absurd".

"A driver who kills someone when drunk has no criminal intent. It is not a necessary ingredient of a crime," he said.

"As for the idea that consent is implied on the grounds that some people would like a service, that is not good enough at all," he added.

View: BBC News

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18 Comments

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How can it possibly be legal for an ISP to monitor its users? I mean, unless you live the US or China, I figured it was defacto taboo for ISPs to spy on customers.

Anyone who thought about it should have realised that BT would get away with it. It's not a surprise to me in the least. I have such little faith in this country.

"They said that there was no criminal intent on behalf of BT and that there was implied consent because the service was going to benefit customers,"

Benefit me? right... Is going benefit the a$$$hole came up with the idea... So they can buy latest car,boat or whore...

I have an awesome idea! Lets make our own spying company instead of spying on the people we spy on them. If we get complain we said "is benefit for there company"

f@ckers

whatever the analogy, I still don't see ads popping in my face as a benefit, and would probably never click on one unless by accident, or to hellp the site :P. We're all screwed if the police here can's spot such an invasion of privacy from this close. BT were not acting to improve the customers' web experience, just make money.

Outrageous!

"They said that there was no criminal intent on behalf of BT and that there was implied consent because the service was going to benefit customers," said Alex Hanff, one of the chief campaigners in the case.

So, I could enter somebody's unlocked home, go through their underwear drawers, but as long as I tidied said underwear drawer and it benefited the occupier it would be legal?

No.

This government need's get to grips with today's technological world and it's implications.

SilverB.

Tidying wouldn't really be too the persons benefit. However if you colour coded it or something then that would be perfectly legal.

(SilverBulletUK said @ #5)
Outrageous!

So, I could enter somebody's unlocked home, go through their underwear drawers, but as long as I tidied said underwear drawer and it benefited the occupier it would be legal?

No.

This government need's get to grips with today's technological world and it's implications.

SilverB.

Your analogy is completely false. BT didn't break into your computer. They took information you gave them, and targeted ads at you.

A better analogy would be if you sent all your underwear to the dry cleaners, and started getting them back with ads for new underwear with them.

(BigDaddy5 said @ #5.3)
Your analogy is completely false. BT didn't break into your computer. They took information you gave them, and targeted ads at you.

so uhh whose data is it then? once you start using the internet, all your information belongs to the isp? like 'the information you gave them' kind of sounds like the information is theirs now

What a load of....... "because the service was going to benefit customers".
An advert on a billboard in the street, or on the side of a bus doesnt benefit me, nor does an ad popup on the Internet.

Anyone know how phorm might target us ads anyway? Some kind of packet interception to inject HTML into HTTP requests or what?!


"A driver who kills someone when drunk has no criminal intent. It is not a necessary ingredient of a crime,"

whats that got to do with anything? were BT drunk when they decided to spy on everybody? no

its ********

Darn it, so in order words, they spam and when it irritates me to a point that I report them, the police cant do anything because they say the end result is for my satisfaction.WTF, are we being controlled and imprisoned in this world.....implied consent my foot.

"They said that there was no criminal intent on behalf of BT and that there was implied consent because the service was going to benefit customers,""

wow. biggest load of bull**** i've heard in a while. it's a shame that the public can't do anything about BT or the police

(PermaSt0ne said @ #1)
"They said that there was no criminal intent on behalf of BT and that there was implied consent because the service was going to benefit customers,""

wow. biggest load of bull**** i've heard in a while. it's a shame that the public can't do anything about BT or the police


Get evidence about the payoff. We all know BT has paid them off