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Phorm and BT Get Off Scot Free As Crown Prosecution Service Backs Down

BT and Phorm have walked away from court unscathed after a case involving the pair's use of invasive technology to track Internet use collapsed.

BT used Phorm's tracking software, which was intended to help deliver individualised advertising based on a person's browsing habits, without the permission of its users, causing angry complaints from individuals and human rights organisations.

The case was first presented to the City of London Police who declined to bring charges, which led rights group Privacy International to the door of the Crown Prosecution Service.

According to thinq_ (opens in new tab), the organisation's Alexander Hanff received a letter from the CPS this morning saying, "We have considered this matter fully and in accordance with both stages of the Full Code Test under the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have decided that this is not an appropriate case for the Director of Public Prosecutions to grant his consent to a prosecution.

"The results of these enquiries have been carefully considered and there is still insufficient evidence to commence a prosecution against BT or Phorm. It is apparent that very considerable further work of investigation would be necessary if further consideration of the evidential stage were to take place."

Although the case is not completely dead, the CPS warns that any further action is likely to be prohibitively expensive, and likely to result in hefty penalties for either company.