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Bobbybox
Aspiring Contributor
1,872 Views
Message 31 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

 


@Pasha_Selim wrote:

Thank you for the information Kerry. I'm still unclear about some things:

 

It is commonplace ..... to use this type of system to identify and improve usability issues

 

I block Omniture using Ghostery but the site still works OK with Omniture blocked. Can BT please be more specific about these usability issues? Can BT provide an example please of how Omniture helps usability?

 

 

Specifically, you can see where people (albeit customer X) come into your site i.e what landing page they arrived at. This can help you to improve where you put affiliate links to improve your google ranking for example. It will also show you that customer X spent a certain amount of time at a particular part of your site, you can use this data to work out how good your navigation is or the layout of things on your pages. It also can be tuned to support accessibility requirements to show that someone who uses a braille reader for example is quite happy until they hit a particular page and then leave, this may suggest that that page has problems. 

 

Just to be clear customer X is exactly that, customer X not Peter Smith. Not tied to IP or any other permanent identifiable data. That would require an opt-in by the customer.

 

All of this data is put together to give a summary report that show user journeys through your website and can identify good and bad areas. e.g. journey x is particulrly good at converting users to making a purchase...Why? can we use this elsewhere? Yes there is a commercial driver behind this. I want to know where and how I can provide the best service AND make the most money.

 

Categorically, it does NOT say Peter Smith of 34 The Mews, Oswestry spent 10 minutes paying his bill with a visa debit card for a bank in putney, he was listening to the Corrs on iTunes and also watching Newsnight on iPlayer. His 3 children were asleep at the time. 

 

If companies such as Omniture use datacentres outside the EEC to process the captured data then they must legally sign up to the relevent Safe Harbour agreements to make them compliant with EU/UK Data Protection regulations.

 

Personal


if you would still like your visits to the consumer area of BT.com not to be counted, you can use the link below.

The Omniture script does more than count my visits doesn't it? For instance, it appears to analyse and identify file types that flow between my family's computers and third party systems. And I believe that the script is obfuscated, making it hard to see exactly what it is doing. Can BT be more transparent about this please?

 

? Would love to see this. Never seen it on my systems. Can you show a demo of it? Would love to see this arbitrary script run like this without exploiting a fault or requiring user action. Within your browser only!


we use a range of systems, which comply with relevant laws and are industry best practice.

Doesn't EU law say that such activity should be opt-in? Is there not a clear determination by the EU that citizens' privacy is paramount, and that individuals have a fundamental right to privacy in their communications?

 

If its identifiable to a person then yes it is. Anonymous user data is not owned by those it is collected from as is cannot be identified as having an owner. 

 

It should not be up to us to place an op-out cookie on our systems if we choose against this interception/analysis of our browsing activity. And I don't like the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, it is a temporary cookie that will disappear if we follow industry security recommendations to clear cookies on exit!


 

 

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Stevo
Beginner
1,789 Views
Message 32 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

Regarding this suggestion of annonymity...  I was speaking with my Dad about it and he said this:

 

"If my name was John Smith and this tracking used MY NAME, then it would be quite hard to identify me, beacause there are so many John Smith's around!"

 

I didn't understand where he was going with it.  And I asked him, "What do you mean?"  He said this:

 

"If this tracking assigns a unique number to me, the internet user who has logged into the site to see my bill, then it's not really anonymous at all is it?  And since this Omniture business is not just about BT because they are used on other web sites, then they start to build up a pretty good understanding of who I am and what relationships I have with businesses etc.  The claim about this being anonymous really does not stand up to much scrutiny, and if they do not aply the rules of decency, and ultimately the law, then I want to know how to circumvent it.  And other customers should be offered the CHOICE to be involved.  Not to opt out of being involved."

 

He is right is he not?

 

The reality is that Omniture probably collects rather a lot of data which could be used to identify an individual by name in the future.  Has BT offered the data to someone, e.g. in an educational research project at a unversity, to establish if this is the case?  It would be interesting to see what they could make of it.  It could show BT pioneering the way for consumers.  They would need to do it carefully to ensure people did not make accusations of whitewash etc - maybe Kerry can suggest this?

 

Looking after Dad (because who else will?!)
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remidog
Beginner
1,776 Views
Message 33 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

Hi Dorset Vinny,

 

Thanks for the "heads-up" on unauthorised tracking - it makes my blood boil when I see this kind of income-generating spying being done without reference to those being tracked - especially when it is deliberately installed by an international league player like BT. I regularly run McAfee, AdAware, SpyBot and other so-called security programmes to try and sweep these unwanted parasites out of my system. But it seems that, no sooner have I identified and removed them, they re-appear the next time I use IE8, Chrome, Firefox 3 etc. - despite firewalls and anti-virus screening. I must get over 20 Viagara spam e-mails a day because of this spyware - yet I've never used it, Googled it or bought pharmaceuticals on the net.

 

Is there any organisation out there to protect us? Our government certainly doesn't seem to care - in fact the PM's stealth tax drive to install fibre-optic delivery nationwide seems more like a 1984 ploy to hit 100% of the populace with both subliminal and overt propaganda in the future. (The fact that BT and other internet giants will become richer than Croesus from its installation and usage makes me wonder whether we shouldn't be examining MP's share portfolios as well as their expenses claims).

 

Remidog

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Somerled
Aspiring Expert
1,760 Views
Message 34 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages


@Stevo wrote:

 

"If this tracking assigns a unique number to me, the internet user who has logged into the site to see my bill, then it's not really anonymous at all is it?  And since this Omniture business is not just about BT because they are used on other web sites, then they start to build up a pretty good understanding of who I am and what relationships I have with businesses etc.  The claim about this being anonymous really does not stand up to much scrutiny, and if they do not aply the rules of decency, and ultimately the law, then I want to know how to circumvent it.  And other customers should be offered the CHOICE to be involved.  Not to opt out of being involved."

 

He is right is he not?

 


Yes - he is exactly right.
Tracking scripts have direct access to your IP address. They usually set an "Anonymous" UID. That alleged anonymity disappears completely when the UID is matched with the IP Address. That can be done by the script, or offsite by the tracking company.
The IP Address IS NOT ANONYMOUS. The ISP's records allow instant matching of IP address and the user's details - name, telephone number, bank account etc. Dynamic or static IP's - it makes no difference. The technology involved is trivial. (Computing professionals understand this, but it appears that many in the advertising and PR industries do not - or choose not to).
This is a plea to some contributors to this thread - Please do not persist with the misleading and incorrect claim that tracking is anonymous. There is more than enough authoritative information publicly available to completely refute this. 
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Somerled
Aspiring Expert
1,759 Views
Message 35 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

 


@Bobbybox wrote:

 

All of this data is put together to give a summary report that show user journeys through your website and can identify good and bad areas. e.g. journey x is particulrly good at converting users to making a purchase...Why? can we use this elsewhere? Yes there is a commercial driver behind this. I want to know where and how I can provide the best service AND make the most money.

 


 Hi Bobbybox. The tone of your post suggests that you have some connection with this. Have you a commercial interest that you would like to declare ?

 

 

 

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Highlighted
Bobbybox
Aspiring Contributor
1,670 Views
Message 36 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

 


@Somerled wrote:

 


@Bobbybox wrote:

 

All of this data is put together to give a summary report that show user journeys through your website and can identify good and bad areas. e.g. journey x is particulrly good at converting users to making a purchase...Why? can we use this elsewhere? Yes there is a commercial driver behind this. I want to know where and how I can provide the best service AND make the most money.

 


 Hi Bobbybox. The tone of your post suggests that you have some connection with this. Have you a commercial interest that you would like to declare ?

 

More than happy to. I have some experience of implementing this type of technology on several occasions from multiple vendors. (Not BT to be clear).

 

When used it provides very valuable anonymous user behaviour reporting.

 

For example, I have no idea what Somerid, Dorset Vinney or Stevo do on my site but I do know what an aggregated customer X, customer Y and Customer Z did.

 

In fact, I'm not interested in what named individuals do on my sites unless they do opt-in with full disclosure of what that means. The reason why? I can get more than enough from completely anonymous data sets. It's just an added bonus if my users DO consent to being identified. Then I can develop more personal relationships with them based on their website behaviour AND it is by mutual consent. This leads to more focussed/targetted offers, corporate comms and the like. Less irrelevent junk for my customers to be irritated by. It costs me to communicate with my customers and to design and maintain websites. I want to make sure the money I spend on this activity is well spent. Maximises the value my customers obtain from the services they buy from me and maximises the revenue for me in return.

 

By the way, If evidence came to light that the vendors I use were abusing the data collected or were secretly building an uber indentifiable dataset from multiple customers (my data is mine and mine alone) then I would have no hesitation on ceasing to use them and reporting them to the appropriate authorities. Recent, publicised mistakes or deliberate efforts to introduce identity tracking tools by the back door is fundamentally stupid. It simply serves to feed Fear Uncertainty and Doubt around the whole idea... hence threads like these contain genuine concerns but also many inaccuracies.

 

My posts use terms like I, me, my and mine as it makes for a clearer explanation... not that I live in a mountain lair with a big chair and a long haired persain cat!Smiley Happy


 

 


 

 

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PheeragHfre
Recognised Expert
1,617 Views
Message 37 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

 


@Bobbybox wrote:

 


@Somerled wrote:

 


@Bobbybox wrote:

 

All of this data is put together to give a summary report that show user journeys through your website and can identify good and bad areas. e.g. journey x is particulrly good at converting users to making a purchase...Why? can we use this elsewhere? Yes there is a commercial driver behind this. I want to know where and how I can provide the best service AND make the most money.

 


 Hi Bobbybox. The tone of your post suggests that you have some connection with this. Have you a commercial interest that you would like to declare ?

 

More than happy to. I have some experience of implementing this type of technology on several occasions from multiple vendors. (Not BT to be clear).

 

When used it provides very valuable anonymous user behaviour reporting.

 

For example, I have no idea what Somerid, Dorset Vinney or Stevo do on my site but I do know what an aggregated customer X, customer Y and Customer Z did.

 

[snip= marketing]

 

By the way, If evidence came to light that the vendors I use were abusing the data collected or were secretly building an uber indentifiable dataset from multiple customers (my data is mine and mine alone) then I would have no hesitation on ceasing to use them and reporting them to the appropriate authorities. Recent, publicised mistakes or deliberate efforts to introduce identity tracking tools by the back door is fundamentally stupid. It simply serves to feed Fear Uncertainty and Doubt around the whole idea... hence threads like these contain genuine concerns but also many inaccuracies.

 

My posts use terms like I, me, my and mine as it makes for a clearer explanation... not that I live in a mountain lair with a big chair and a long haired persain cat!Smiley Happy

 

 


I make no comment other than this.Smiley Sad

 

Omniture Sitecatalyst has a companion option available to sitecatalyst users. Smiley Sad

 

Omniture DataWarehouse amongst its options are:-

 

complex data mining queries on historical click-stream data and integrate detailed click-stream data feeds with internal data systems.

 

* A historical archive of all Web traffic data.Smiley Sad

 

* Data feeds which import click-stream data into your own data warehouse.

 

 * Creation of remarketing lists to unique visitor IDs Smiley Surprised

 

"I have this awful feeling someone is watching every move I make (one of my pet hates is router location tagging)." Marvin (A paranoid Android)
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Stevo
Beginner
1,567 Views
Message 38 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

Exactly.  "unique visitor IDs" 

 

That is the issue is it not?

 

Some customers of BT do not like that at all.  I thought "taking part" should be an option to allow (NOT something customers should have to opt OUT of).  And that is what I thought the laws in Europe were requiring.

 

Add to that the fact that Opting Out (which Dad should not have to do) is actually not simple or permanent and it's quite unfriendly and bad customer service.  It's BT working in a bad way.

 

I've been reading around this subjject and it seems he can send in a Data Protection Act Section 11 notice which will require the company not to process any personal data for specified purposes.  However I don't know if BT will pick this up in conjunction with this Omniture tracking they are doing in the secure website areas that gave rise to all this discussion.

 

I am very clear on the annonymous claim.  Just because it is not done using his name, it is done using a unique ID and that makes is personal to him.  It's personal data.

Looking after Dad (because who else will?!)
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Bobbybox
Aspiring Contributor
1,550 Views
Message 39 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

A few points here;

 

Point 1: Sad you felt the need to "snip" sections of my comments because you dismiss them as "oh he's just repeating parrot fashion the marketing puff the vendor gave him". I actually tried to be quite open and honest as to how these tools actually benefit me and my customers. 

 

Point 2: The supporting products you mention are used to combine the collected data with other data sets your business may have. This builds identifiable data back to specific customers... see where this is going yet?.

 

In order to utilize this under EU/UK law you must first obtain consent. NOT use it and then cleanse users who opt OUT.

 

Otherwise ALL the data remains anonymous. i.e you cannot follow the trail back to an identifiable customer.

 

Point 3: A unique ID does NOT mean it is identifable back to the customer. It simply means that it exists as a descreet data object within a database. Point 2 would have to be valid to legitimately make the connection to a specfic customer. The info you quote simply suggests these products could facilitate it should the opportunity arise.

 

Thats not to say some less than scrupulous businesses may tell their customers one thing but then go ahead and do the opposite. This behavior is illegal and should be treated as such. 

 

I need to know what each of 100 customers did but I don't need to know who those 100 customers are. So a Unique visitor ID is exactly that, uniquely identifying the information anonymously precisely because I am not linking them back to actual customers.

 

The true issue here is about informed consent and how a business interacts with its customers/potential customers within the legal framework.

 

As I said before, 

 

"Recent, publicised mistakes or deliberate efforts to introduce identity tracking tools by the back door is fundamentally stupid. It simply serves to feed Fear Uncertainty and Doubt around the whole idea... hence threads like these contain genuine concerns but also many inaccuracies."

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PheeragHfre
Recognised Expert
1,534 Views
Message 40 of 40

Re: Being tracked on my billing pages

 


@Bobbybox wrote:

A few points here;

 

[snip = Can't answer with precise details without breaking forum rules]

 

 

In order to utilize this under EU/UK law you must first obtain consent. NOT use it and then cleanse users who opt OUT.

 

[snip = Can't answer with precise details without breaking forum rules]

 

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

Silently leaving an Omniture cookie on a PC & sending data to Omniture when visiting BT HTTPS secure pages is asking permission? Smiley Sad

 

Of course there is also the fact that that cookie gathers information from other Websites not related to BT simply because it has been left after the BT Browser session.

 

Does the data from the other websites also get allied to that dataset? Smiley Mad

 

"I have this awful feeling someone is watching every move I make (one of my pet hates is router location tagging)." Marvin (A paranoid Android)
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