Feeds

BT forces closure of non-BT ADSL checker

Claims Data Protection Act infringement

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A software developer from Suffolk has been forced to shut down his ADSL availability checker following legal threats from BT that making the information available breached the Data Protection Act.

Although based on BT's own ADSL availability checker, Dan Lane's line checker was able to provide more technical data after he obtained information he claims is freely available from some ISPs.

BT disputes this, claiming the information was "published in error by one of our resellers".

BT wrote to Mr Lane calling on him to stop making the information available, alleging that his checker was in breach of section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998, which "makes it an offence knowingly to obtain or disclose personal data".

On Monday, they sent him a letter from the telco's legal department calling on him to stop.

Said the letter: "BT seeks to keep confidential the details of products that our customers take from us. Using BT confidential information that was published in error by one of our resellers, it appears that you have been providing access to such information.

The letter asked for Mr Lane to stop doing so.

A defiant Mr Lane claimed what he was doing was "perfectly legal" and called on BT to explain why he was being singled out when the information was available elsewhere.

Now, though, his access to the information has been blocked and Mr Lane has little choice but to dismantle his ADSL line checker.

"I'm pretty pissed off," he told The Register. "I tried to work with BT on this. Although they’ve shut me down, the information is still out there and is still available."

BT declined to comment directly on the case. Instead, a spokesman for the monster telco said: "BT has worked with the Information Commissioner to ensure all the responses on our bt.com/broadband availability checker are compliant with the Data Protection Act.

"We are currently investigating Data Protection Act issues surrounding the accessing and possible misuse of information without BT's consent.

"We are seeking to resolve any issues appropriately and prevent any further breach of data protection legislation," he said. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.