No police charge for BT over Phorm trial

Fury over 'Implied consent' suggestion

BT will escape a police investigation over its use of Phorm without obtaining users' position.

In a statement that is sure to spark fury, the City of London police suggested that BT had not had criminal intent and that there was implied consent – because the service was going to benefit customers.

Both reasons have already been questioned by critics of the decision, with Nicholas Bohm of think-tank Foundation for Information Policy Research telling the BBC: "A driver who kills someone when drunk has no criminal intent. It is not a necessary ingredient of a crime.

Not good enough at all

"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."

Phorm is a targeted ad-serving service that monitors what websites users visit, before deciding which advertisements to serve.

The UK government has already insisted that the Phorm service is legal – because identifying data is 'anonymised', but this isn't the end of the furore by any means with the European Union still investigating the matter.


Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.