BT sells UK customers browsing histories to advertisers

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Matari, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Matari macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Hi all

    Just to alert the UK Mac community to the following:

    'In 2006 and again in 2007, BT intercepted web browsing data from several tens of thousands of their users in trials of the Phorm technology. At no time did they ask any of these users for their consent. In some instances they
    changed the data sent by the users to the websites they were visiting. Many believe that BT broke the law with these trials.

    BT were proposing a third trial to begin by the end of April 2008, but with public concern mounting, the published start date was moved to the end of May 2008. It has not begun yet. The need to change BT'implementation of Phorm from "opt-out" to "opt-in" may also be contributing to delays.'

    Virgin Media and Talk Talk are also involved with this company, although they have gone a bit quiet since people started to complain.

    If you wish to protest against this outrageous invasion of privacy, more info at

  2. icebook2002 macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2006
    Have you been to the Phorm website and actually looked at what they are proposing? It seems to me that it is a lot less invasive and snoopy than google is... According to their own literature NO data about you will be stored and I find it hard to consider that they could make such a sweeping statement and do the contrary in such a litigious climate. Personally I am much, much more wary of google, ms and facebook...
  3. Matari thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Hi - yes I have been to their website, but what worries me is that BT carried out the tests without consent, which indicates to me that that the whole deal is shady. Also, although it says you can opt-out, the current method proposed is that you accept a 'no thanks' cookie on your machine. This will result in your browsing history still being sent to the Phorm servers but not used to target you with advertising. If you clear your cookie you will have opted-in again.

    I take your point about Google - I use the 'GoogleAnon' cookie wiper (sets the information to 00000s) so your browsing history is useless.

    All this must make people think that I am up to no good with my browsing history - nothing could be further from the truth. I just object to being targetted by advertisers and, much more importantly, having my browsing history sold without my consent to make BT profit.

  4. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
  5. icebook2002 macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2006
    Matari, yeah I do take your point about BT selling data, a bit silly of them when some of us (a growing number?) are already worried out about our privacy...

    Killyp, nor do I have anything to 'hide' but data protection isn't about hiding - it is about ownership. I do not 'own' my telephone line but at the same time I do own the conversations I have on it.

    I am quite tired of advertising, to the point that I tend to just click the little red button (or x the tab) of a page that starts loading countless, inane and pointless 'targeted' ads.

    Things will go one of two ways, eventually, either we will all be given greater protection, mainly from marketeers and salespeople, or the amount of data these companies will gain will be so vast as to be rendered useless! I prefer the former to the latter!

Share This Page