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Old_Bear
Contributor
2,996 Views
Message 1 of 40

Being tracked on my billing pages

Hi all,

 

I'm looking for some general help, advice, and technical support that will hopefully be given by members of this community forum.

 

Tonight, while checking my BT bill online, I noticed the pages where being tracked by a program or script or something called Omniture. A bit of checking tells me that:

 

"Omniture SiteCatalyst® provides marketers with actionable, real-time intelligence about online strategies and marketing initiatives. SiteCatalyst helps marketers quickly identify the most profitable paths through their Web site, determine where visitors are navigating away from their site, and identify critical success metrics for online marketing campaigns. SiteCatalyst is part of the Omniture Online Business Optimization Suite."

 

This raises a couple of concerns and questions:

 

i) This is my private billing data; there's all sort of personal information on there that I don't want people to know.

Q) Is this being sold to some American marketing company based in the USA?

 

ii) This part of the site is supposedly secure; password protected, https address, etc. My account number and personal bank details, amongst other things, are visible in there.

Q) How can it be secure if every move I make in my own account/billing area is being tracked by this Omniture mob?

 

This has got me extremely worried!

 

Please don't point me to BT's privacy policy as I've read it; what worries me is whether I can trust the privacy policy of some company that isn't even in this country.

 

I'd value any advice and/or any peer to peer support solutions that anyone may have. For instance, is there any way to get the tracking on my billing area stopped, etc?

I'm a Private person; I respect those who respect my Privacy.
39 REPLIES 39
Distinguished Guru
2,993 Views
Message 2 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

Old_Bear.

 

I use Firefox 3.6 and an add on called Ghostery.

 

IMO Internet Explorer and BT don't get on.

 

I have just accessed my BT Accounts to double check and with FF plus Ghostery, Omniture IS BLOCKED.Smiley Happy

 

I don't know if it can be blocked when using other browsers.

 

Hope this helps.

-+-No longer a forum member-+-
Slated
Contributor
2,989 Views
Message 3 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

In addition to this:

 

touchclarity.com a.k.a. 2o7.net

Omniture
550 East Timpanogos Circle
Orem UT 84097
US

 

There's also scripts and tracking cookies from:

 

custhelp.com

Right Now Technologies, Inc
40 Enterprise Blvd
Bozeman, MT 59718

US

 

And:

 

eCustomerOpinions.com, a.k.a. eDigitalResearch Ltd
6 Berrywood Business Village
Hedge End, Southampton

SO30 2UN

UK

 

I don't want to be sensationalist, but this really doesn't look good, especially in such a sensitive area of BT's Website, and may actually be in violation of either:

 

However, an official statement from BT on the matter is needed to clarify the situation, before people jump to conclusions.

 

BTW: I'm running Firefox 3.5.6 with both the AdBlock Plus and NoScript plugins, on a GNU/Linux system protected by iptables and SELinux, behind a local Squid proxy that peers to a local Privoxy proxy, then through a NATed router, on to a remote secure VPN tunnel. So the chances of this behaviour being attributable to any kind of malware on my system is ... er ... slim, to say the least. Smiley Wink

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Dorset_Vinney
Aspiring Expert
2,964 Views
Message 4 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

I am happy to provide you with friendly peer to peer advice and support on this topical issue.

 

Omniture is part of the behavioural tracking that BT use in order that they may commercially exploit the pattern of your browsing behaviour in partnership with 3rd parties such as Omniture and TouchClarity. There is currently a lot of concern about the issue of consent with behavioural tracking, and the UK law is under review, as it is required to comply with the EU Privacy Directive. The UK government is currently under threat of court action from the EU on precisely this matter. When this is resolved, you can rest assured that the current BT practice will HAVE to change as will that of virtually every other website using BTA in the European Union. Similar action is being considered in the USA. You are by no means a minority, and your concerns are not unreasonable.

 

The key issue under discussion is the requirement for prior informed consent, which at present, the UK law is fuzzy on. The EU law does not regard a wordy privacy policy as sufficient prior informed consent to Behavioural Tracking - it is demanding that there be specific popup or some such, BEFORE the customer is tracked, and which will require the customer to actively opt IN to tracking before such tracking is permitted.

 

I agree that having a commercial tracking facility on an https protected "account/billing" page raises a number of topical issues that customers are entirely reasonable to be concerned about.

 

BT is a data controller, when it comes to your account and personal information. They are registered as such with the ICO. They may employ data processors to handle their data. If such data processors are outside the EU area, then they must agree to observe the EU regulations. In the USA this is dealt with by the Safe Harbor Agreement. Unfortunately customers may still have reservations, and their trust in these agreements and undertakings can not always be taken for granted, in the light of recent history.

 

I should warn you, in a spirit of friendly peer to peer advice and support, that despite the customer concern about privacy, discussion here is likely to be limited to referrals to the privacy policy due to forum rules and requests for discussion with moderators by private message. Unfortunately there are many issues not covered in the privacy policy that concern customers and you may find this arrangement less than satisfactory. I couldn't possibly comment, as that would take me beyond the issue of friendly peer to peer advice and support. And I want to stay friendly.

 

I use an MVPS HOSTS file, which includes entries to block 2o7, Omniture, and Touchclarity. I also use Firefox 3.6 with ghostery (although not too sure about that one, it has just been sold to an ad company!), and NoScript. I also do not allow cookies by default. I also use FF addon TACO - which sets optout cookies for virtually all of the ad tracking cookies. Once those have been set you can then block cookies (and allow exceptions one by one as required - usually just session cookies). Firefox can still remember login passwords without having to set permanent cookies.

 

Speaking of Omniture/TouchClarity - the BBC website recently got "caught" using it on UK sourced visitors, contrary to their charter and had to withdraw it for all UK visitors because their Charter forbids the use of such commercial activity.

 

The key thing to remember is that your browsing behaviour patterns are YOUR data. That data belongs to you and has commercial value. You have rights over what is done with it, and no one else can over ride those rights.

Dorset Vinney - I speak up when I'm worried
Community Manager - Retired
2,938 Views
Message 5 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

Hi All

 

  • Omniture is a standard web tool used by thousands of companies worldwide. If you wish tracking to be switched off then our Privacy Policy explains how you can do this.
  • For RightNow a similar position applies. No personal information is captured on pages visited within the help site.
  • eCustomerOpinions. We occasionally ask random customers visiting our pages to give us feedback. We do this via a questionnaire that they can reject. A cookie may be applied to prevent the same customer receiving the questionnaire again. No personal information is passed other than voluntary information supplied in the questionnaire.

Thx

Kerry

Retired BTCare Community Manager - StephanieG and SeanD are your new Community Managers

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Dorset_Vinney
Aspiring Expert
2,929 Views
Message 6 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

Please be aware that the BT privacy policy applies ONLY to the BT website.

 

What does this privacy policy cover?
 
This privacy policy only applies to how BT deals with your personal information. It does not apply to any other company or to any other company´s websites even if you access them through BT. If you disclose your personal information to other companies your information will be dealt with according to their privacy practices.

 

It does not apply to Omniture. It does not discuss onsite tracking by 3rd party cookies.

 

The section about sharing information with other parties says this: (it is not clear how this relates to Omniture)

 

Do we share your personal information with anyone else?
 
As a normal part of our business we share with other communications companies information for connecting and charging for calls over each others networks.
We sometimes use other companies to provide services to you or to provide services to us. To enable them to do this, we may need to share your personal information with them. When we do so, these companies are required to act in accordance with the instructions we give them and they must meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act to keep the information secure.
We may share your personal information with other parts of BT to enable them to conduct their own businesses and to market their products and services to you. We provide this information in accordance with our code of practice on the disclosure of customer information. This code limits BT´s ability to share information in this manner and is intended to prevent BT gaining unfair competitive advantage over its competitors.
We may share your personal information with other companies so that they can contact you with details of other products or services you may be interested in. We will only do this if you have agreed to this and where the companies agree to use your personal information for that purpose only. If you have agreed to receive information about products and services from another company and later decide not to you will need to contact that company yourself to let them know. You can of course ask us not to continue to provide your personal information to any more companies in future.
We may provide information, in response to properly made requests, for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime, and the apprehension or prosecution of offenders. We may also provide information for the purpose of safeguarding national security. In either case we do so in accordance with the Data Protection Act. We also provide information when required to do so by law, for example under a court order, or in response to properly made demands, under powers contained in legislation.
If there is a change (or prospective change) in the ownership of BT or any of its assets, we may disclose personal information to the new (or prospective) owner. If we do so, we will require them to keep it confidential.
If you believe the personal information we hold on your is incorrect you may amend it by following the procedure set out below in "How can I change the personal information BT holds about me?"

 

 

In order to determine what is happening on a visit to an https site like "my account/billing" you may wish to use tools like the Firefox error console or the Java console or other browser logging to determine what requests your browser is making, and what information is being sent included with the Omniture data. It can be a complex area. This information is provided to assist users in their enquiries about internet security, in a spirit of friendly peer to peer support and advice.

 

If you have enquiries about Omniture you will need to follow them up further with BT as the privacy policy does not cover that area specifically.

 

Dorset Vinney - I speak up when I'm worried
Old_Bear
Contributor
2,894 Views
Message 7 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

 


@KerryG wrote:

Hi All

 

  • Omniture is a standard web tool used by thousands of companies worldwide.

Thanks for the reply, KerryG.

 

I know what it is and I couldn't care less how many companies use it, I don't want it tracking my movements on the supposedly 'secure' My Account section where all my personal private data, including my banking details, are.

 


@KerryG wrote:

Hi All

 

  • If you wish tracking to be switched off then our Privacy Policy explains how you can do this.

Thx

Kerry


That document is huge; neither the word "tracking" nor the word "Onmiture" appear anywhere on it and thus there can't possibly be instructions to turn it off.

 

I'd be grateful for a more specific guide to turning this tracking off, please, without having to use an outside add-on.

 

OB

 

DS. Thanks for the advice about Ghostery. I am already currently using it to block this stuff (using the test 2.0.3 version that doesn't hang FF). My main concern here is that Omniture (a company outside the UK) is being allowed to see what I'm doing in an area of the site that is supposed to be private and secure; only I should be able to see what's going on in that area.

 

DV. As always, great info, I'm very much obliged to you for your friendly peer to peer advice and support.

I'm a Private person; I respect those who respect my Privacy.
Slated
Contributor
2,829 Views
Message 8 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

@KerryG

 

"Omniture is a standard web tool used by thousands of companies worldwide"

 

Ominture is a company which engages in dubious and deceptive tactics to harvest data, and as such I don't trust them, and really don't think BT should either:

It all began with a post at UNEASYsilence titled "Lies, Lies and Adobe Spies" which caught on to the fact that Adobe CS3 apps were calling out to a suspiciously-crafted IP address. As it turns out, the IP in question—192.168.112.2O7.net (note the capital O instead of a zero)—is not an IP at all, but rather a domain owned by statistics-tracking firm Omniture. Criticism and conspiracy theories quickly erupted across the web, calling for an answer from Adobe over what looked like a clear invasion of privacy crafted to look like a typical local IP address.

Adobe's final response to why Omniture used this deceptively crafted address is "we can’t find anyone who remembers".

 

LOL!

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StewartM
Contributor
2,806 Views
Message 9 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

KerryG, please can you tell me how I turn this tracking off.

Stewart
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Highlighted
StewartM
Contributor
2,699 Views
Message 10 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

Second Request

 

 

KerryG, please can you tell me how I turn this tracking off.

 

Stewart
 
Stewart
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