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October 2, 2010

EU takes UK government to court over online privacy failings

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by Darren Allan

The European Commission is taking the UK government to court over its failure to overhaul data protection laws, and provide adequate online privacy measures for its citizens.

The case will be heard in the European Court of Justice, and if the judges find against Britain, it could lead to a fine being levied on the country.

This affair stems from complaints made by UK net surfers regarding BT’s experimental use of Phorm, and the clandestine collection of surfing data in relation to advertising, the Guardian reports.

However, BT told the newspaper it had nothing to do with the affair as such. A BT representative commented: “The potential infraction proceedings relate to an alleged mis-implementation of EU law by the UK government. As such, they are a matter for the EU and the UK government. It is simply inaccurate to describe them as relating in any way to BT.”

The court action will doubtless please online privacy activists. A spokesman for the British government told the FT that they were “disappointed” the case had been referred to the European Court of Justice, and that legislative changes were being planned to address the Commission’s concerns.

Story link: EU takes UK government to court over online privacy failings


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1 Comment »
  1. “Doubtless please privacy activists”?

    Pleased? I’m furious! The UK Government should have prosecuted BT and Phorm, avoiding the need for the EC to intervene at all.

    The fact that the EC have decided to act to protect UK citizens from their own Government is a consequence of corruption and incompetence of the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Home Office, and the ICO.

    The people responsible for the BT/Phorm trials - people who exposed the UK to nationwide personal and commercial espionage - should have been arrested and prosecuted in 2008.

    Comment by Pete — October 2, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

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