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"We spied on 36,000 customers using the internet," admits BT
We spied on 36,000 customers using the internet, admits BT
by Matthew Hickley, April 4 2008
BT tested secret "spyware" on tens of thousands of its broadband customers
without their knowledge, it admitted yesterday.
It carried out covert trials of a system which monitors every internet
page a user visits.
Companies can exploit such data to target users with tailored online
An investigation into the affair has been started by the Information
Commissioner, the personal data watchdog.
Privacy campaigners reacted with horror, accusing BT of illegal
interception on a huge scale. Yesterday, the company was forced to admit
that it had monitored the web browsing habits of 36,000 customers.
The scandal came to light only after some customers stumbled across
tell-tale signs of spying. At first, they were wrongly told a software
virus was to blame.
Executives insisted they had not broken the law and said no "personally
identifiable information" had been shared or divulged.
BT said it randomly chose 36,000 broadband users for a "small-scale
technical trial" in 2006 and 2007.
The monitoring system, developed by U.S. software company Phorm, accesses
information from a computer.
Etc., see the URL.
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