UPDATED 14:03 EST / OCTOBER 01 2010

EU Sues UK for Breaching Internet Privacy Policies

Privacy issues have been a sort of a hot topic all over the world recently. The first issue was filed against Google for collecting Wi-Fi data from its Street View cars, followed by Facebook’s content that can be used as evidence in court. The latest addition is a complaint received by the UK Information Commissioner from broadband users, complaining of secret activity using a monitoring software called Phorms to track their online habits for targeted advertising.This experiment is conducted by BT, Uk’s largest broadband provider. The commission yesterday said:

“The commission considers that existing UK law governing the confidentiality of electronic communications is in breach of the UK’s obligations under the ePrivacy Directive and the Data Protection Directive.”

BT dropped the experiment after receiving complains from users and watchdogs. The European ePrivacy and Data protection directives pointed out the UK should have a regulator based in the country.

“Current UK law authorises interception of communications not only where the persons concerned have consented to interception but also when the person intercepting the communications has ‘reasonable grounds for believing’ that consent to do so has been given. These UK provisions do not comply with EU rules defining consent as ‘freely given, specific and informed indication of a person’s wishes’,” the commission added.

Privacy is an ongoing matter that’s paved the way for legal battles to ensue within countries and on an international scale.  Between government involvement with acceptable data collection and the topic of net neutrality, it’s clear that a lot of lines are currently being drawn, shaping the future of our web access and experience.  Consumers are weighing in on privacy as it relates to them as well, while businesses like TRUSTe also take advantage of the world’s growing need for security on the mobile level.


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