EU Commission to probe UK’s failure to protect citizens from secret surveillance

April 15th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr.15 (ANI): Britain’s failure to protect its citizens from secret surveillance on the Internet is to be investigated by the European Commission.

According to The Independent, the move will fuel claims that Britain is sliding towards a Big Brother state and could end with the Government being forced to defend its policy on internet privacy in front of judges in Europe.The legal action is being brought over the use of controversial behavioural advertising services that were tested on British Telecom’s Internet customers without their consent.

Yesterday, the EU said it wanted “clear consent” from Internet users that their private data was being used to gather commercial information about their web shopping habits.

Under the programme, the UK-listed company Phorm has developed technology that allows Internet service providers (ISPs) to track what their users are doing online. ISPs can then sell that information to media companies and advertisers, who can use it to place more relevant advertisements on websites the user subsequently visits.

The EU has accused Britain of turning a blind eye to the growth in this kind of Internet marketing.

The Commission is also critical of the Government’s implementation of the European electronic privacy and personal data protection rules. They state that EU countries must ensure the confidentiality of communications by banning the interception and surveillance of Internet users without their consent. (ANI)

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