BT dodges bullet over secret Phorm trials


The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped its investigation into whether BT’s Phorm technology unlawfully intercepted internet browsing data, due to ‘insufficient evidence’. BT started conducting secret trials of Phorm four years ago, sparking outrage from privacy campaigners. The technology examined Internet users’ browsing history to bring them personalised web content, as well as targeted advertising based on their interests.



Privacy campaigners protested that the way the system collected and used personal data was too intrusive and the trials were subsequently halted.

The CPS has now concluded that prosecuting BT would not be in the public interest after taking into account that BT changed direction when it received warnings against the technology.

The CPS also failed to find any evidence that anyone affected by the technology suffered any loss or harm as a result.

In a statement on its website the CPS said: “We have decided not to consent to a request from an individual to begin a prosecution of BT Group Plc and Phorm Inc in relation to alleged unlawful interception of internet browsing data.”

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