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By: MarkJ - 13 October, 2010 (10:00 AM)
bt internet privacyThe Chief Security Technology Officer (CSTO) for telecoms and broadband ISP giant BT UK, Bruce Schneier, has given an interesting keynote speech at the 11th annual RSA Conference Europe 2010 in London (Metropole Hotel), called 'Security, Privacy and the Generation Gap'. Schneier warned that the need for bigger profits and related abuses by internet based social networking services were leading to the "death of privacy".

BT's CSTO, Bruce Schneier, told the conference:

"We are witnessing massive invasions of privacy and businesses are deliberately manipulating this. The CEOs are killing it because technology is changing the balance of privacy. The social norms are being set by businesses with a profit motive.

Individuals should have the rights to see, challenge, delete and control their own private information [and] legislation without enforcement, at an effective level, may as well not exist."

Schneier went on to note that "everything we do on the internet" creates data, allowing you to watch everybody. Worryingly the systems employed by many social networks, such as Facebook, never completely forget this data and would "be there until after you die and beyond."

The comments from BT's Security Chief are all the more surprising given the Telco's past support for Phorm , which controversially worked with broadband ISPs to monitor what websites you visited for use in targeted advertising campaigns.

Back in 2008 BT angered many when it emerged that they had run two secret trials of Phorm's technology on customers, without their consent. So began a lengthy campaign that ultimately resulted in BT and other UK ISP supporters shelving their plans to use it.

It's a shame that Schneier, while busily attacking social networks, didn't take the time to poke holes in his own firms past policy decisions. Then again that would probably have been more than his jobs worth.
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