Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

Advocates: Businesses "Spying" for Online Complaints

ONLINE PRIVACY—UK

June 8, 2010

Privacy advocates are concerned about UK companies tracking conversations on social networking sites to monitor customer comments and then contact complainants with solutions, the Daily Mail reports. Critics are saying those unsolicited calls could breach data protection laws, while business executives maintain that the information being gathered is not private. "These are all discussions that can be seen by anyone on the Web," said Warren Buckley of BT. "I would liken it to someone having a conversation in a pub--it's just a very big pub." Simon Davies of Privacy International offered a different perspective, calling the practice "nothing short of outright spying...It may not be illegal but it is morally wrong. And it is unlikely to stop there."
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