Consultation between BT, Phorm and BERR

I Cooper made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please disclose when BERR was first contacted by BT/Phorm to discuss internet advertising.

What correspondence has been exchanged concerning internet advertising between BERR and BT/Phorm since 2006?

When have BERR met with BT/Phorm to discuss internet advertising, what were the minutes and agenda of those meetings?

When were BERR first made aware of the trials of Phorm systems in 2006/2007?

What evidence have BERR sought concerning the secret trials in 2006/7?

Which independent experts has BERR consulted with in regard to the trials of Phorm technology and any future implementation of webwise.

Yours faithfully,

Spoor Mary (BR2),

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[ Email has no body, please see attachments ]

Balchin Patrick (BR2),

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Dear Mr Cooper

Please see the attached letter in reference to your Freedom of Information
request of 24 July 2008.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Balchin <<Foi 080458 clarification letter.pdf>>

Patrick Balchin,
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform,
1 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0ET
Direct Tel: 0207 215 1772
E-mail [email address]
[1]http://www.getsafeonline.org/

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.getsafeonline.org/

Dear Balchin Patrick (BR2),

In response to your clarification request, I am referring specifically to Behavioural Targeted Advertising that is associated with the company Phorm and it's targeted advertising technology.

The date range cannot be clarified as I have not been given an answer to the first question therefore I am unaware of the exact date of BERR's first contact with British Telecom or Phorm regarding behavioural tatgeted advertising.

I request details of all correspondence from the date of BERR's first contact with British Telecom and Phorm to the present date.

Yours sincerely,

Francis Irving left an annotation ()

Blog post from the Open Rights Group which explains context of this request: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/2008/09/1...

Dear Patrick Balchin (BR2),

You contacted me for clarification of my request on the 20th of August and I responded promptly. This effectively reset the time limit.

I should not need to remind you that section 10(1) of the Act states the time limit for compliance is the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of the further information you reasonably required. Your failure to respond within the time limit is a breach of the Act.

If you are relying on one or more of the exemptions and therefore withholding information, you must issue a Refusal Notice (under section 17 of the Act) within the same time frame, specifying the exemption and why it applies.

I look forward to receiving the requested information promptly.

Yours sincerely,

I Cooper

Balchin Patrick (BR2),

Thanks for your message. I am out of the office until Monday29 September.

If you need an urgent response on ICT USer matters please contact either
Anna Stacey (tel 020 7215 1409) or Jane Chelliah-Manning (020 7215 1630),
or on Communication Supply and resiliance matters please contact Pauline
Tordoff on 020 7215 1202

Please note that your e-mail will not be accessed until my return.

The generic BERR e-mail format is [email address]

Regards

Patrick

Patrick Balchin
Communications Supply & ICT User Impact teams
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
direct line : 020 7215 1772
e-mail [email address]

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear Balchin Patrick (BR2),

Request-1372-16f7594a@whatdothey know.com

I received your auto-response to my previous e-mail.
My request for information under the Freedom of Information Act is now fourteen days overdue.

Once again, I should not need to remind you that section 10(1) of the Act states the time limit for compliance is the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of the further information you reasonably required. Your failure to respond within the time limit is a breach of the Act.

I shall be allowing a further three days for receipt of the requested information after which time I will be requesting an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

I Cooper

Balchin Patrick (BR2),

Dear Mr Cooper
Thank you for your e-mail.

I am looking into why you have not received a reply within the timescale
required by the Act.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Balchin

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Balchin Patrick (BR2),

Dear Mr Cooper

Thank you for your e-mail.

It is our intention to be able to give you with a reply by Friday 17
October.

Please accept my apologies for missing the deadline as required by the
Act.

Regards

Patrick

Patrick Balchin,
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform,
1 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0ET
Direct Tel: 0207 215 1772
E-mail [email address]
http://www.getsafeonline.org/

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Dear Patrick Balchin (BR2),

Ref: FOI 08/0458

The response to my FOI request is now seventeen days overdue.

Despite your acknowledgement of missing the deadline I have still not received the requested information nor a satisfactory response.

As the timescale for a response has now been considerably exceeded I request an internal review of this matter.

Yours sincerely,

I Cooper

Balchin Patrick (BR2),

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Dear Mr Cooper

I refer to your request of 24 July 2008 made under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

Your request was further clarified by my request for clarification made
on 20 August and your reply to that letter of 28 August.

Please find the reply to your enquiry attached.

Please accept my sincere apologies for being late with the reply.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Balchin

Patrick Balchin,
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform,
1 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0ET
Direct Tel: 0207 215 1772
E-mail [email address]
http://www.getsafeonline.org/

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Balchin Patrick (BR2),

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Dear Mr Cooper

The internal review that you requested has now been completed. Please
see the attached letter.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Balchin

Patrick Balchin,
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform,
1 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0ET
Direct Tel: 0207 215 1772
E-mail [email address]

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Dear Patrick Balchin (BR2),

The internal review document (FoI 08-0619) that you have attached does not relate to this freedom of Information request FoI 08-0458.

This suggests that the internal review for request 08-0458 is still otstanding.

Please rectify and advise why there is a delay and when the Internal review for this request will be completed.

Yours sincerely,

I Cooper

Balchin Patrick (BR2),

Dear Mr Cooper
Thank you for your e-mail.

I have checked our records within CCI for this FoI request (file ref
01.04.05/3670c) and the records held by the Information Rights Unit (who
administer the FoI Requests mailbox) and have not found a request from
you for an internal review to request number 08/0458 in either location.
To make sure, I will double check our records again on Monday

If you have made such a request directly to the Department for an
internal review to case 08/0458, I would be very grateful if you would
let me know where such a request was made, or possibly re-send me the
request so that I can action the review as soon as possible.

You did ask for an internal review to case 08/0619 on in your e-mail of
17 October 2008 (sent 12:07)(see below).

Dear Patrick Balchin (BR2),

RE: FoI case 08-0619

Thank you for your letter. I appreciate that the response was only
one day late but the Act specifically states 20 working days and
not 21.

You state that the content of the letter is being withheld by
application of sections 27 (1) (b) and 35 (1) (a) of the Freedom of
Information Act.

'Section 27 (1) (b) exempts information if its disclosure would, or
would be likely to prejudice, relations between the United Kingdom
and any international organisation. This would include, for
example, the European Commission.'

The letter in question has been sent to the EU Commission therefore
they already have a copy. As for the initial views of the
Commission, it should be noted that the Commission seem quite happy
to release details of their letter to the UK government. A full
copy of the initial letter sent to the UK government has been
published and is in the public domain. Therefore I fail to see how
disclosure of the BERR letter can prejudice relations.

Your response also mentions negotiations. The EU letter to the UK
government made no reference to negotiations. The Commission has
simply asked why the UK government believes that previous Phorm
technology trials did not contravene EU law. I requested full
disclosure so that the British public can see why the UK government
believes that Phorm technology does not contravene EU law.

As a result I do not believe that section 27 gives sufficient
grounds for refusal to release the contents of the letter.

'Section 35 (1) (a) provides that information is exempt if it
relates to the formulation or development of government policy'

It would appear that the government is giving assertions that Phorm
technology does not contravene EU laws. I do not see this as
development or formulation of government policy, unless of course,
the government is formulating policy to allow private businesses
the option of ignoring laws they don't particularly like.

With regard to the five questions quoted in the original request,
the answers to those five questions should be contained in the
letter to the EU. Therefore I consider the full request to be valid
and simply ignoring the questions is unjustified.

It is my belief that the reasons given for refusal to disclose any
of the requested information are unreasonable and therefore I
request an internal review of this decision.

Yours sincerely,

I Cooper

I hope this helps.

Have a nice weekend.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Balchin

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Balchin Patrick (BR2),

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Dear Mr Cooper
As promised in my e-mail to you on Friday, I have double checked our
records and can confirm that I have not found a request from you for an
internal review the case (ref 08/0458) within our electronic records .

You would wish to know that he reason that the internal review letter to
case 08/0619 was sent to this address rather than the one attached to
your correspondence over case 08/0619 was because when I tried to send
it to the appropriate address, all I received was "Message
Undeliverable" messages to the address given. I felt that it was more
important for you to receive the reply as soon as possible which was
why it was sent to the alternative e-mail address.

Yours sincerely

Patrick Balchin

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