BT boss: you can’t have privacy online

Telecoms customers cannot expect to have privacy, according to BT’s chief executive.

Gavin Patterson, the boss of one of Britain’s biggest telecoms companies, said we shouldn’t expect total privacy as BT collects customer data and hands over to security services to “protect” us.

“People recognise that they have to give up some of their privacy to be protected,” he said at the World Economic Forum, known as Davos, in Switzerland.

He also admitted he thought the laws around data collection were “murky”.

“It’s just too murky at the moment. It needs to be transparent and there needs to be clear guidelines about what’s acceptable and what isn’t.”

However, Yahoo boss Marissa Meyer, who was on the same panel, said it was the responsibility of companies to be clear about what data they are collecting. She added Yahoo was clear customers owned their own data.

“What’s murky about some of what is happing today is people don’t necessary know what data is being collected and about what is being used,” she said.

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