query to BT complaints, their reply and my reply back
very long but the full story so far, i have left only the bt CS person first name in and mine (as it is on my posts anyway)
the interesting one for me is you can permantly opt out by blocking the cookie,(so trend and co can safely remove the cookie without opting you back in) but will that show up in there stats as a opted out user
below are the emails
Thanks for your reply
But You have failed to answer my question regarding if I opt out is my traffic still passed to the profiler, nor the question about assumed automatic opt-in
If it is I still have major concerns regarding privacy as you can not guarantee the profiler can not be updated to look at the opted out traffic but just not serve adverts
And I have big , big prolems with any data passed to a company whose roots are one of the biggest original adware / crudware companies on the net, like many I do not believe leopards can change their spots
Another point is as AOL found that out last year when it released a ton of anonymised search requests with the user IDs replaced by random numbers; it had to withdraw the list in haste as it became embarrassingly obvious that users could be identified from that information alone.
So by using a random number in a cookie will still enable users to be identified from the data passed from the profiler to the phorm server and so privacy is not guaranteed
The anti-phishing is a duplication of the function in IE7 and I believe also part of the norton security suite you provide, so I see little value add from that service, the only thing the users will see is an increase in targeted advert from the businesses signed up to OIX which was the adware rubbish form used to push, how many adverts are going to be for uk based businesses (very few I suspect) and due to the high rate of fraud and phishing on the web people are naturally sceptical of any popup and highly unlikely to purchase via them, this I doubt is of little concern as BT will only get revenue from allowing the adverts to be served and not from any form of pay per click on the actual poup-ups
Please inform your managers that the customer base is not happy with this, people are not going to put up with popups, adverts or other junk on their screens (we get enough junk in the post)and many will hopefully vote with their feet
The only way I will stay a BT broadband customer is if you can guarantee opted out traffic does not go via the profiler at all and it is an assumed automatic opt-out, this is the position that car phone warehouse is taking and looks like the same with virgin media (if they actually go ahead, which is not looking likely)
Car phone warehouse are (rightly so) of the opinion webwise / phorm will fly or fail on its merits and if customer find it usefull, not on wether you can bully customers into accepting it to obtain additional revenue
One final question how will you know if the trial is successful, I assume it will be by webwise telling you the percentage of users opting in and out, and who will audit those figures and confirm they are correct?
A better way would be to use an independent market research company to canvas ALL of the users in the trial with a web based questionaire similar to how microsoft get feedback from my after my partner training courses
when my updated terms and condition are offered to me I shall be reviewing my option to cancelled my contract early depending on whether BT has changed its position with webwise / phorm, which is a shame as I have had good service until this.
From: Residential Services [mailto:XXXXX@bt.com]
Sent: 13 March 2008 12:55
Subject: Re: I want to complain - I have a general complaint (KMMXXXXXXXX71L0KM)
Dear Mr White,
Thank you for your e-mail dated 12/3/08 regarding Webwise, and the passing of your browsing or personal data to Phorm, and I am sorry for the difficulties you have encountered whilst trying to obtain information on this and for any inconvenience this may have caused.
As per your request for written confirmation, I have supplied you the information in the form of an email as i work from the e-contact queue only.
The data capture is designed to preserve your anonymity and privacy. We will be communicating to all customers during the trial with a page that appears at the start of their browsing session and ask customers to look at amended Terms and Conditions which can be viewed on www.bt.com/webwise. There will always be clear choice in the hands of all of our customers. We also provide them with information on their current status on www.bt.com/webwise, which can be changed with a click of a button.
Your data? is not passed to any third party. On each browser navigation, a ?data digest? is created consisting of URL, search terms submitted to a major search engine, and the top 10 most frequently-occurring page keywords from the page (which are cleaned to remove email addresses, numbers and names). This is matched against a list of advertising product categories. After the match is made, ?data digest? is deleted permanently and immediately. The ?data digest? is never written to disk so it is never stored.
All this processing is done completely within BT?s network. The matching information ? the only information held within the system, is never sent to any system held outside the BT network. You can permanently opt-out by blocking cookies from the domain http://www.webwise.net on each browser you use.
I hope the information provided will assist in helping you with your enquiry, and if you should have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me again via e-mail.
Thank you for contacting BT.
eContact Customer Service
Original Message Follows:
Feedback from: peter white (contact number ) Telephone Number:
Email Address: XXXXXX@btinternet.com
i do not wish any of my web browsing (past, present or future) to be profiled or stores for any reason other than as you are require to keep records under RIPA for the fight against terror
i specifically do not consent to any of my web browsing or personal data being passed to phorm or any other similar company.
i do not require the webwise anti phishing product as none of my family use internet banking for the simple reason of its insecurity
i specifically do not want any advertising (targeted or other pop ups other than the single frame advert on my yahoo / bt homepage which i easilly ignore)
i want an immediate assurance in writing of the above
1:- if my terms and conditions are changed to allow any of the above,
2:- if webwise / phorm is rolled out with an assumed opt in
3:- it is proven that even when opted out my web traffic will still be passed via the webwise / phorm profiler
i will have no option but to excercise my right under the change to terms and conditions clause and immediately change ISP
please note car phone warehouse are guaranteeing "opt in" only and segregating their network so opted out users are definitely not passed through the web wise / phorm profiler, and virgin media have not finally commited to rolling this out yet
a very unhappy customer who is likely to be looking for alterantive ISP shortly