Monday, 2 August 2010

O2 Data Modification Update

A number of people have asked for an update on the O2 data modification situation. Here is a quick list in no particular order:

  1. The Head of O2 Networks has responded to my communications and has arranged a meeting later this week to discuss the issues. He has also asked the O2 legal team to reassess the licensing implications of the modification of licensed source code including the removal of copyright messages.
  2. The data modification technology used by O2 appears to be provided by the company ByteMobile which appears to suggest that some of its technologies are also in use by Orange, Vodafone and T-Mobile in the UK.
  3. A 'back of an envelope' calculation appears to indicate that the data modification taking place will indeed significantly increase the amount of data being sent to your mobile device when you access two or more pages of a standard web site like the BBC news or Guardian news web sites. This is on the assumption that your mobile device would normally locally cache CSS and JavaScript files. It's quite possible that some older mobile devices do not do this.
  4. The Register (online technology publication) has responded to me about this issue but to date I don't believe that this issue has been published in any press article. I think people generally find it a little too technical to write about. Everyone I have spoken to has been completely unaware that this practice is going on.
  5. A comment making reference to this issue that I added to a BBC news article was removed as being "potentially defamatory".
  6. Following issues arising with another web site, this blog has followed up on the same issue: O2 UK mobile users - your operator is breaking this site for you..
  7. StartupCafe kindly posted an article on my investigations: O2 Compression on mobile devices.
  8. I have contacted Ofcom who are assessing my complaint.

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