Just over a week ago I had a conference call with Tim Fielden (Data Access) and Gavin Sheldon (Head of Networks O2 UK).
- They indicated that they had looked into the legal issues I had raised and were advised that the data modifications they are making do not cause web site developers to infringe any copyright or licensing terms. As I said to them at the time, I still find it hard to believe that O2 themselves can modify other peoples data without informing them.
- They recognised a need for developers to be able to bypass their data modifications in more exceptional circumstances and said that they would send details of how to do this. I'll explain this next in a separate entry so it's easier to search for in future.
- They expressed confidence in their extensive testing of their network and data compression/modification systems and said that, in their testing, they found that these network optimisations resulted in the best customer experience. I specifically queried whether or not they tested accessing multiple pages in a row to which they reiterated their confidence in the extensiveness of their testing, but welcomed any specific cased of web sites that were found to be underperforming on their network.
All in all they were very polite and clearly expressed their desire to be helpful but I was left feeling that it was going take more than a few customer complaints before they would do anything to stop modifying data without telling anyone. No-doubt they feel that that, as not the only operator to be doing this in Europe, they don't need to rush to change the status quo.