Welcome to our Privacy Centre
Here you'll find lots of detail on how we collect and use your personal information.
On this site, "we", "our" and "BT" each mean all the companies that make up the BT Group. We collect information about you when you buy or use our Telephone, Broadband or TV services, or from other organisations such as credit agencies or other Telcos handling your calls. We may share this information between us so we can provide the services you order and manage your account.
By using any of our services or visiting our websites you agree to our use of your personal information as set out here.
If you want to find out more about how we collect and use your personal information in different situations please click on the buttons above.Back to top
When you order a phone service from us, we ask for your name, address, contact number, including mobile, and email address. We also ask for details on how you want to pay. That's so we can provide you with the service, charge you for it and let you know if we make changes to it. We also use your personal information to check your identity if you get in touch with us.
When you first order a phone service from us, or buy certain new services, we run a credit check on you. To do that we give some of your personal information to credit reference agencies.
Read more about our credit checking processes.
When you sign up, we'll ask if you want your details in the Phone Book and other directories – like those online. If you agree, we'll publish your details and share your information with other communications providers who provide directory services. Ex-directory numbers are not included.
Unless you tell us not to, we will, from time to time, contact you to tell you about products or services we think you might be interested in. We might do this through the post, online, using push notifications via apps, via a text message, or on the phone. When we send you text messages, we also receive information from your mobile phone carrier such as your device ID (also known as IMEI).
When you use your phone we keep a record – including the number you call, the time and the length of the call so we charge you the right amount on your bill. Unless you tell us not to we may also use this information to tell you about products and services we think may be of interest to you.
Read more about your choices on marketing.
If we think there's been crime, fraud, misuse of, or damage to, our network, we'll use this information for our internal investigations and any subsequent prosecution(s).Back to top
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BT Sport & TV
When you order TV products or services from us, we ask for your name, address, your preferred contact number, including your mobile and email address. We also ask for details on how you want to pay, such as your direct debit or credit card details, and information about your devices and viewing cards so we can provide you with the service.
Other information we may collect about your use of our TV services include details of the devices you use, the channels, programmes and adverts you watch on them, the services you access, how long you watch and what actions you take when doing so, such as how you view, record or fast forward programmes. We keep a record of the content that you buy and download.
We also record the IP addresses and MAC addresses of devices you view from and your user IDs and device passwords and pin codes for parental controls.
We need this information to be able to provide you with services which you have asked for on the devices you want to view our programmes and content on. This data also helps us to improve our services and the programmes we buy and make for your viewing pleasure.
We use your data to provide you with personalised services such as viewing recommendations. You can manage your choices regarding what you see when viewing content on our Apps by visiting the App store you have downloaded from.
If you opt out of personal recommendations on Apps, you may still get general content recommendations and adverts.
Where you take our TV services through our partners we share your information to help provide you with the service – and sometimes for marketing, but only if you've told us that's okay.
Read more about your choices on marketing
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Broadband or BT Infinity
When you order broadband from us, or sign up to use BT Wi-fi, we ask for your name, address, contact number, including mobile, and email address. We also ask for details on how you want to pay. We might also need your direct debit or credit card details to charge you for the service. When we send you text messages, we also receive information from your mobile phone carrier such as your device ID (also known as IMEI).
We'll use your contact details to tell you about changes to our service; for example if we upgrade your line, or when there's a new technology (like fibre optic) in your neighbourhood.
Unless you tell us not to, we may use this data, from time to time, to contact you to tell you about products or services we think you might be interested in. We might do this through the post, online, using push notifications via apps, or on the phone.
Read more about your choices on marketing.
Where you use our wi-fi partners' services, we share your information to help provide you with the service – and sometimes for marketing (but only if you've told us that's okay.)
We keep information about how you're using your broadband to help us understand and manage traffic flows on our network, improve our services and tell you about products you might be interested in. That includes IP addresses and other traffic data including websites you've visited. We may also use this information to provide you with certain services you ask us for – like parental controls on web access.
The law says we have to keep certain information about how you use our internet services for 12 months. This information may be used by law enforcement agencies to prevent and detect crime and to protect national security. (But we only disclose information to them when we have been lawfully requested to do so.) If we think there's been crime, fraud, misuse of, or damage to, our network, we'll use this information for our internal investigations and any subsequent prosecution(s). We will also provide it in reply to other lawful requests for information such as about illegal online file sharing.
When you first log on to use your internet access service from BT you will be shown a screen asking if you want to activate parental controls or not. We keep a record of whether or not you have activated parental controls and will continue to offer them to you each time you log in if you ignore the request. The only data we will capture is whether or not you have activated parental controls and the level of filtering you have selected. We give numbers of activations to the Government and keep an aggregated and anonymous report of the sites which are blocked. We also record high level user behaviour, such as the number of times there has been an error in how the controls have worked, but we will not record the sites blocked against you.
We give numbers of activations to the Government and keep an aggregated and anonymous report of the sites which are blocked. We also record high level user behaviour, such as the number of times there has been an error using the controls, but we will not record the sites blocked against you.
For more information please refer to our Broadband terms and conditions which cover parental controls.
We may also take steps in our network to protect you from threats from malicious domains which may attempt to infect your machine with malware associated with criminal threats. For more information please refer to our Broadband terms and conditions.Back to top
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online with BT Family
Mobile and Apps
When you order a mobile phone service from us, we ask for your name, title, address, date of birth and gender. We also ask for contact details including a phone number, email address and your current mobile number if you want to keep it. If you've already got a phone service with us, we ask for your BT ID number or account number too.
As well as that we ask for details on how you want to pay, like your bank details or credit card number. (So we can charge you for the service.)
If you're new to BT when you first order a mobile service from us, we run a credit check on you. To do that we give some of your personal information to credit reference agencies. Read more about our credit checking processes.
We also use your personal information to check your identity if you get in touch with us.
Unless you tell us not to, we'll also use this information to tell you about products and services we think you might be interested in. We might do that by post, online, using push notifications via apps, or on the phone. Read more about your choices on marketing.
If you come to us through a third party site, like uSwitch, we might need to match your order to the information they give us if we need to pay them.
When you use your mobile, we record certain things about that use. They include the amount you spend, the numbers you call or text (but not the content of the text), the numbers that call or text you, and the location of the cell that you make a call from (but that's kept anonymous). We also record the time and the length of all incoming and outgoing services like calls, texts and picture messages (MMS) while you're in the UK and abroad.
When you download a BT app from BT.com, we will record information about your device, such as its manufacturer. Where relevant, we will detail the additional data that we will receive through that BT app before you download it.
We also look at which BT apps you use, your IP address and the websites you visit, so that we can tailor your online experience. Read more about browsing history here.
We record how much data you use, any extra spending outside of your plan and what you spend in your apps. That's so we can charge you the right amount on your bill, tell you if you're getting close to your usage limit, fix faults, and send you other messages about your service.
We keep information about the mobile phone or tablet you use with the BT Mobile service, including the device ID (or IMEI), the features on it (like whether it uses 3G or 4G), the type and model, and the operating system. This helps us understand how you're using BT Mobile and improve the overall service we give you.
Unless you tell us not to, we'll use your personal information to tell you about products and services we think you might be interested in. We might do that by post, online, using push notifications via apps, text message, or on the phone.
Read more about your choices on marketing.
We don't share your personal information, except with the third parties we work with to deliver your mobile (and related) services. We might occasionally share information more widely to profile basic demographic data but it'll be anonymous and brought together with other customers' data.
We sometimes gather and pass on information about customers' interests, preferences and lifestyle, which we can work out from their interactions with us or get from third parties. But we always keep this data totally anonymous.
If we think there's been crime, fraud, misuse of, or damage to, our network, we'll use this information for our internal investigations and any prosecution(s) that might follow. We might also need to use it for managing traffic on the network, for emergency services or tracing malicious or nuisance calls.
The law says we have to keep certain information about how you use our services for 12 months, even if you stop using BT Mobile. Law enforcement agencies could use this information to detect crime and protect national security. We only ever disclose information to them when we receive a lawful request to do so.
Children and Mobiles
BT recognises that many of today's children have grown up with the internet and are very familiar with how it works – often more so than their parents. This represents a challenge for parents, as it allows them to access inappropriate websites without suitable supervision, particularly if they have their own device, such as a Mobile. BT is therefore committed to helping parents protect children from such content through its Parental Controls feature. Further information can be on our website in the 'Stay safe with BT Parental Controls' section.Back to top
"My BT" lets you manage your account with us, including getting your bills online. When you create a "My BT" account on bt.com, we ask you for information so we can check your identity when you sign in and also if you need help to re-set your password. We may also use some of your account information to tell you about products or services we think you might be interested in – unless you tell us not to.
Read more about your choices on marketing..
We collect information about how you use our website to keep improving the way it works. We count how many people visit our websites, where they come from, when they visit, how long they stay and what pages they look at. We may associate your device with your account if you log into BT.com. We sometimes use data like this to give us insights into products and services our customers might like and how our advertising performs. We also look at the browser, OS and devices you use to make sure you get a good online experience however you access our websites.
Depending on how you set up your marketing preferences, we may share information about how you've used our website with our advertisers and other companies who offer their services on our pages. We may also use this information to personalise the editorial content and any bt.com service messages based on what you tell us to make sure the online adverts you get are relevant to you.
Depending on how you have set your cookies preferences we may also allow Interest Based Advertisers or content providers to collect information about your browsing behaviour in real time and combine it with information about your browsing behaviour on other sites you may visit to show you adverts and content which are relevant to your interests. We may also share information about your browsing behaviour with other service providers to better understand your usage of BT.com services and provide links to related social media content and advertising which may be of interest to you.
BT is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. BT is also a participant in other similar affiliate programmes which means we may be paid commission on sales of those products or services we write about.Back to top
A cookie is a text file with a small bit of information in it, which a server downloads onto your computer, tablet or smartphone when you visit a website. Then you can be recognised when you come back, or when you visit another site which recognises that cookie.
Different types of cookie do different things. Some let you navigate between different pages on a website. Some remember your website preferences. Some give you adverts tailored to your interests. And some measure how many sites or which you visit. Session-based cookies sit on your device while you're on a website then expire once you shut your web browser. Persistent cookies stay on your device for longer, then automatically expire.
The law says we have to give you details about the cookies we use and why we use them. We also have to have your consent to use them. So we've developed a system of classifying the different types of cookie we use on bt.com, or that third parties might download to your device via our websites. Our cookie classification system explains how we use the cookies, and also determines how we ask for your consent to use them. We also explain what functionality you lose if you decide you don't want to have them on your device.
To keep things simple we split out the types of cookies we use into different categories. You can select which types of cookies you want to have on your device at any one time. At the footer of every page there is a link to change your cookie settings at any time. Each category is accompanied by a description of what type of actions it performs.
Some cookies are 'strictly necessary' for us to give you the online service you've asked for. We don't ask for your permission to use these and all the information collected by those cookies is anonymous and doesn't in any way affect your privacy. We use 'performance' cookies to measure how our websites perform so we can improve our pages and measure how that works for visitors.
You can't disable 'strictly necessary' or 'performance' cookies and by using our website and online services, you're automatically agreeing to have those on your device.
We also give a list of the individual cookies we use in each category in the 'Find out more about cookies' section. That's so if you check your internet settings, you know what these are if you've agreed we can use them. You can always take cookies off your device using your browser settings. But if you do, some things won't work as well – for example, lots of pop up boxes might run the same ads, or you mightn't be able to get to a page you earlier personalised.
Your browser options let you choose whether to accept, not to accept or be warned before accepting cookies. (They're in the advanced preferences section.) Our cookie categorisation is also used in a 'cookie code' developed by the International Chamber of Commerce to help website operators stick to the rules.Back to top
Credit Checks, Fraud Prevention and Debt Recovery
When you order or buy something from us, we might have to do a credit check. That means looking into your records with credit reference agencies (like Experian or Equifax), the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) security alert, or fraud prevention agencies. When they get a search from us, a 'footprint' goes on your file which other organisations might see.
We might keep personal information we find out about you – but we have a strict policy for how we look after it and keep it safe. We also keep the results of the searches we do with credit agencies so we don't have to do another search if you buy something new from us in the future. But we only keep your credit data for a reasonable amount of time.
We'll also do checks to confirm your identity when you want a new phone line. That's to help protect you from identity theft and fraud, and to prevent and detect crime or money laundering. And once in a while we might run more checks with CRAs and fraud prevention agencies (FPAs) to keep your account with us up to date.
If false or inaccurate information is provided and identified as fraud, the details will be passed to FPAs such as Cifas. This information may also be shared with law enforcement agencies.
We may also share the information with other organisations. This information may be used to prevent fraud and money laundering, for example, when:
- Checking applications for credit and credit related and other facilities.
- Managing credit and credit related accounts or facilities.
- Recovering debt.
- Checking insurance proposals and claims
- Checking job applications and employees.
If you tell us you've got a spouse or financial associate, we'll link your records together – so you must make sure you have their agreement to disclose information about them. CRAs also link your records together and these links will stay on your and their files – unless you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the CRAs to sever that link.
We send CRAs information on applications, and they hold onto that. We may also give them details of your accounts and bills, including how you manage them. That includes telling them about your account balances, what you pay us and when you miss a payment (going back in the past, too). If you don't pay your bills on time, CRAs will record that. They, or a fraud prevention agency, might tell others doing similar checks – including organisations trying to trace you or recover money you owe them.
There are a few different CRAs in the UK, and each one might have different information on you. If you want to find out what information they have on you, they'll charge you a small statutory fee.
- Callcredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or 0870 0601414 or callcredit.co.uk.
- Equifax, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box1140, Bradford, BD1 5US or 0844 3350550 or equifax.co.uk.
- Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or 0844 4818000 or experian.co.uk.
If you continue to not pay your bills we may sell the unpaid debt to debt recovery agencies, such as the Lowell Group (lowellgroup.co.uk/privacy-policy). To enable the agency to recover the debt, we will provide them with information about you (such as your name, address and contact information) and your account (such as the amount of the debt).
If you want to receive details of the relevant FPAs, please write to us at:
British Telecommunications plc
pp 5TH FLOOR
Londonderry Telephone Exchange
2 Queens Quay
Disclosure and sharing data
We may share your personal information with other companies in the BT Group, including EE, who may use it for the purposes set out in this Privacy Centre.
We sometimes use other companies to provide some of our services or to provide services to us. To do that, they may need to process your personal information. When we do, they have to follow our instructions and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
We might transfer your personal information to places outside the European Economic Area and store it there, where our (or our suppliers') people might process it. If that happens, we require them to apply the same security standards as when we process your information in the UK. Along with other organisations, we and other organisations may access and use the information recorded by the FPAs in other countries outside the UK.
Sometimes we ask specialist partners to call you, on our behalf, to offer you things from BT we think you might want. We've listed these partners here. If someone contacts you who isn't on the list but claims to be acting for us, get in touch straight away on 0800 800 150 so we can check it out.
BT sometimes receives information requests from law enforcement agencies about its customers for the purposes of preventing and detecting crime, prosecuting offenders, and protecting national security. BT complies with those requests that are lawful.
We also provide information when the law says we have to such as in response to a court order.
Monitoring and Recording communications
We may monitor and record our communications with you, including e-mails and phone conversations. Information which we collect may then be used for training purposes, quality assurance, to record details about the products and services you order from us or ask us about, and in order to meet our legal and regulatory obligations generally.
Accessing your information
We want to make sure that any data we hold on you is up to date. So if you think your personal information is inaccurate, you can ask us to correct or remove it.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 individuals have the right to know what information we hold on them. If you'd like a copy of some or all of your personal information, write to us at:
Crawley TEC, Zone DSAR
We charge £10 for requests for personal information – so please enclose a cheque made out to BT with your request.
If you'd like any copies of your phone bills, call 150. There'll be a fee to cover the cost.Back to top
Unless you tell us not to, we will tell you about BT products and services we think you might be interested in. We might do this through the post, emails, text message, online, using push notifications via apps, or on the phone.
We won't send you marketing messages if you tell us not to but we will still need to send you service-related messages. You can opt out of getting marketing messages anytime. You can tell us in lots of ways:
- When we call you as part of a telemarketing campaign, you can tell us if you don't want to receive any more marketing calls.
- When we email you, you can use the link in it to opt out of marketing emails.
- When we text you, you can text back to tell us to stop further SMS marketing.
- Change the cookie settings we hold for you on BT.com so you don't receive targeted advertising online.
If you want to opt out of postal marketing, or marketing messages all together, you can call us on 0800 800 150.Back to top