EC starts legal action in Britain over Phorm

The European Commission has started legal action against Britain over the online advertising technology Phorm.It follows complaints to the EC over how the behavioural advertising service was tested on BT’s broadband network without the consent of users.Last year Britain had said it was happy Phorm conformed to European data laws.But the commission has said Phorm “intercepted” user data without clear consent and the UK need to look again at its online privacy laws. of Web Tracking Tool Raises Privacy Issue in Britain
The European Commission threatened Britain with sanctions on Tuesday for allowing an Internet service provider to use a new advertising technology to track the Web movements of customers.The European telecommunications commissioner, Viviane Reding, said that use of a tracking tool created by Phorm violated European privacy laws. The country’s largest service provider, BT, acknowledged last April that it used the tool without customers’ consent in 2006 and 2007, Ms. Reding said. launches case against UK over privacy and personal data protection [news release]
The Commission has opened an infringement proceeding against the United Kingdom after a series of complaints by UK internet users, and extensive communication of the Commission with UK authorities, about the use of a behavioural advertising technology known as ‘Phorm’ by internet service providers. The proceeding addresses several problems with the UK’s implementation of EU ePrivacy and personal data protection rules, under which EU countries must ensure, among other things, the confidentiality of communications by prohibiting interception and surveillance without the user’s consent. These problems emerged during the Commission’s inquiry into the UK authorities’ action in response to complaints from internet users concerning Phorm. in the dock over secret tracking of internet accounts
Fears that Britain is slipping into a surveillance society have been heightened by Brussels initiating legal action after declaring that UK laws guaranteeing data protection were “structurally flawed” and well below the European standard.The criticism arose after the European Commission investigated the use of “behavioural advertising technology” by British internet service providers, which it found was illegal under European — but not British — law.’s privacy laws illegally inadequate, says Europe
UK laws protecting the privacy of people’s communications are inadequate, the European Commission has said. The Commission has launched a legal case against the UK over its implementation of European Union Directives.The Commission’s investigation was sparked by outrage over trials by BT of a system which monitors web use and tries to match advertising to people’s perceived interests. The trials were done without BT customers’ knowledge or permission.

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