Skip to main content

No police charge for BT over Phorm trial

BT has got Phorm
BT has got Phorm

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.