A legal action seems inevitable after BT’s confirmation that they had actually used data from their web users without their explicit consent to test the information gathering tool Phorm.
Earlier in the week, WikiLeaks website revealed the details of the plot to the public.
Around thirty thousand users were involved in the test and none of them were informed that their personal data is under surveillance.
Such a move is against the laws of data protection as stated in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 where permission is needed from the users to study their data.
BT was going through its user’s traffic to check for keywords and then serving them with advertisements related to the keywords.
In its defense BT stated that is consulted with its legal advisors before setting up the trial.
However, BT users are appalled by BT’s blatant disregard for user privacy.
Nevertheless, BT is happy that during the run only a few people realized what was going on and that a new completely invisible system will be conceived soon