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December 1, 2008

Phorm in the spotlight


by David Allen

The subject of Phorm always promotes opinions; mostly they are against the targeted marketing scheme being used at all.

The subject has been at the forefront of the Privacy by Design conference organised by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) in Manchester and a debate at the University of Westminster called Behavioural Targeting: the Fire and the Fury, which was headed by IAB U.K. CEO Guy Phillipson.

He started off by asking the following questions to those in attendance:

Would you Opt In to Phorm if it meant your Broadband was free? Around 50% said yes.

Would you Opt In to Phorm on the currently proposed terms? Only five people (less than 10%) said yes.

The problem with Phorm is the secret trials held with BT, which will always remain part of Phorm and it is not likely that anything anyone says about Phorm will be able to make broadband user forget about that.

Story link: Phorm in the spotlight


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1 Comment »
  1. Phorms problems are manifold.

    Its not just that they conducted secret trials in 2006 and 2007, profiling the private communications data of tens of thousands of users and the businesses & websites they used.

    The background to Phorm, as 121Media, is also part of the problem.

    Businesses invest tens of thousands of pounds, sometimes hundreds of thousands or more, authoring, structuring, automating and promoting their web sites/ecommerce services. Copying that content without a copyright licence is pure intellectual property theft.

    Intercepting private communications between customers and the businesses and web sites they use, then using the communication data to advertise competitors, is simply industrial espionage.

    And whatever the bogus assurances of privacy; my private communications traffic is just that. I don’t want it shared with a third party, because its private.

    Comment by Pete — December 1, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

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