BT release update on data provided to anti-piracy companies
BT Retail have released an update on work they've been doing to help ensure the responsible use of data they have delivered to firms pursuing alleged file-sharers. The company has been required through Norwich Pharmacal Orders granted through the courts to provide customer details to companies who have been identified by as having taken part in unlawful file sharing, and in some cases it has had these over-turned to ensure that customers are protected.
"With regard to Media CAT, we have been under a court order since July last year to supply it with details belonging to thousands more customers. We refused to do so and have now secured a further order to set aside the July order, meaning that the customer details will not be disclosed. Media CAT has also confirmed that all customer data that we sent to it in the past has now been deleted.
Ministry of Sound had the benefit of a court order from May 2010, which similarly required us to send thousands of customer details. We have now obtained another court order releasing us from that obligation. As was reported last year, Ministry of Sound withdrew its second application after we raised important issues we felt the court should consider.
Digiprotect was another client of ACS:Law. We have already disclosed some customer details to it under a court order in early 2010. Since even before the revelations about ACS:Law, we had been challenging Digiprotect on its use of that data but did not get satisfactory answers. We have now taken the matter back to court and secured an order requiring Digiprotect either to issue proceedings or delete the data. The time for issuing proceedings has now expired and the data should be deleted.
As a business we must facilitate genuine rights holders who wish to enforce their copyright in a proportionate way. With that in mind we have been working on a new framework policy to deal with future applications, in a bid to protect our customers. We continue to develop that policy, particularly in light of the comments of HHJ Birss QC in the recent Media CAT cases."BT Statement
Last year, ACS:Law, who has now controversial ceased trading after it failed to bring cases to court successfully, leaked personal information from it's website, and following this BT have obviously noted that work to keep its customer data private is of vital importance, both from a duty to its customers, and probably also from a competition point of view.