Welcome to Murky land : BT and Phorm tracked 18000 users without their consent

BT might have got itself into big trouble after it was reported that it secretly tested the Phorm platform on 18000 BT broadband customers between 23 September and 6 October 2006.

British online news website the Register has apparently seen technical documents that incriminate both 121media, which has a very murky past, and BT Retail and shows that they ran a stealth trial without express customer consent between the 23 September and 6 October 2006.

According to the Register, the technical document stated

"The validation was made within BT's live broadband environment and involved a user base of approximately 18,000 customers, with a maximum of 10,000 online concurrently. The customers who participated in the trial were not made aware of this fact as one of the aims of the validation was not to affect their experience."

The Register also pointed out that Stratis Scleparis was chief technology officer at BT Retail and soon after jumped ship to become CTO at Phorm.. well, that's a small world.

Ironically, BT will promote Phorm as the pinnacle in online Privacy, the epitomy of Big Brother turning virtuous - adding nearly £85 million per annum to its coffers.