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December 1, 2010

Home Office changes mind on data interception consultation

by Darren Allan
The Home Office has now decided it will meet with civil rights groups over planned changes to data privacy laws. These changes have been prompted by the EC, after investigation into the whole Phorm affair, in which BT customers had their web browsing tracked without their knowledge. The Home Office was going to ...



October 2, 2010

EU takes UK government to court over online privacy failings

by Darren Allan
The European Commission is taking the UK government to court over its failure to overhaul data protection laws, and provide adequate online privacy measures for its citizens. The case will be heard in the European Court of Justice, and if the judges find against Britain, it could lead to a fine being levied on the country. This affair stems from ...



July 14, 2010

Phorm director could be Canvas chairman

by David Allen
The future of the multi channel online TV partnership currently known as Project Canvas could be in the hands of Kip Meek, a director of the targeted advertising and internet tracking firm Phorm. The project is at the moment made up of Arqiva, BBC, BT, Channel Four, ITV and TalkTalk. This group ...



July 1, 2010

Phorm does a runner

by David Allen
The targeted advertising system provider Phorm is leaving the UK. This announcement is probably music to many internet users' ears, following the secret tests that the company operated with BT. Once details of these tests came to light and the internet service providers realised that the consumer was having none of it, ...



May 18, 2010

Phorm back to haunt BT

by David Allen
It was back in 2008 when the City of London investigated the secret trials carried out on the BT network using the targeted advertising system, Phorm. However, after looking into the case the police found no evidence that a crime had been committed due to lack of criminal intent. However, according to theregister.co.uk ...



February 26, 2010

Phorm in BT’s side

by David Allen
Phorm is an issue that simply will not leave BT alone. It has been three or four years since BT and Phorm conducted trials on the internet service provider’s customers' internet surfing habits, but without their knowledge. Despite there being a huge anti Phorm campaign ...



November 10, 2009

Targeted ads for Sky Player subscribers

by Janet Harris
BSkyB has warned subscribers to its Sky Player broadband-based TV service that it plans to introduce AdSmart technology from the New Year. AdSmart sounds very similar to BT’s Phorm, which proved unpopular with BT’s customers after the company ran secret trials of the technology. Like Phorm, AdSmart aims ...



November 2, 2009

EU leans on UK Gov over Phorm

by David Allen
The EU has taken infringement proceedings against the infamous trial of Phorm on the BT network to the next level and the UK government has two months to reply before the case could go all the way to the European Court of Justice. The Phorm trials caused some serious issues for ...



August 26, 2009

Phorm shares fall as OFT investigates

by David Allen
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) could be carrying out a study on those internet businesses that monitor consumers' online activities and then use the information to target the consumer with advertising relevant to their surfing habits. If the study goes ahead, businesses, organisations and consumers could be asked for their views on how this type of marketing works ...



August 14, 2009

Phorm data unavailable under the FOI

by David Allen
The targeted adverting scheme Phorm or Webwise has still got consumers flustered, even though many of the country’s internet service providers have either stated that they will not be going ahead with deploying the system on their networks or have not made a final decision. There have been many requests from the general public and organisations under the Freedom ...



July 21, 2009

Designer routers for a classy home

by Alan Harten
In the past, home routers served their purpose well, but did little to help dress up a room, however, Goldsmiths of the University of London is now working on a series of designer home routers that will perform well and be the subject of awe in your home office area. Goldsmiths has been working with TalkTalk, the UK’s largest home broadband ...



July 13, 2009

Virgin Media has no immediate plans for Phorm

by David Allen
Following the announcements from BT and TalkTalk on the decision not to go with the targeted advertising system Phorm, Virgin Media has stated that although it has no immediate plans to use the online tracking system, it has not been ruled out. For around eighteen months, the cable broadband and TV provider ...



July 9, 2009

Now TalkTalk walks out on Phorm

by David Allen
It has only been a matter of days since BT announced that its plans for the introduction of the targeted advertising system Phorm or, as the system has become known to BT customers, Webwise, have been put on hold. Now another internet service provider that ...



July 7, 2009

BT drops Phorm

by David Allen
Unlike many of the other stories concerning the targeted advertising system Phorm, it is a fact that BT has decided not to go ahead with the controversial scheme, which tracks the internet habits of customers and then directs adverting to them. As a result of this decision, shares in Phorm plunged by ...



June 18, 2009

Virgin Media dumping Phorm - not!

by David Allen
According to a report at PC Pro, Virgin Media is claimed to be against using the invasive advertising system Phorm in its broadband service. Unfortunately it seems as though Phorm's recent rebranding to Webwise has confused both PC Pro and Virgin Media. A reader of PC Pro's sister title, Micro Mart, had asked Virgin Media what its plans were over ...



June 11, 2009

Phorm raises £15 million for trials

by David Allen
The controversial internet based targeted adverting scheme Phorm, has raised around £15 million by selling almost twenty per cent of the firm's share capital - 3.3 million shares at £4.50 each. This sale is showing a discount of 85p per share going on Tuesday’s closing prices. Yet it was only last week when the boss of Phorm, Kent Ertugrul, ...



June 4, 2009

Phorm launches Webwise Discover

by David Allen
Despite not having any internet service providers on its books yet, the targeted advertising system Phorm has launched a new consumer tool named Webwise Discover, based on the same technology that has been trialled in the past. Phorm currently has agreements in place with BT, Virgin Media and the Carphone Warehouse, although ...



May 20, 2009

Government responds to Phorm privacy laws

by David Allen
The government is being taken to court by the EU over the secret testing of the targeting advertising system Phorm on BT customers. Over twenty one thousand four hundred consumers signed a petition on the Downing St website asking the government to look into the Phorm issue and the secret trials with ...



May 19, 2009

BBC ponders the Phorm question

by David Allen
The BBC has said that unlike websites such as Amazon and Wikipedia, which have come out and blocked the targeted advertising from Phorm, the jury is still out on whether it decides to allow it or not. Phorm is a service that websites can use to track users' surfing habits and build ...



April 30, 2009

Phorm launches website to put record straight

by David Allen
It may be under fire at the moment, but the targeted advertising firm Phorm is planning a fight back by launching a website to explain how the system monitors users' internet activities and then offers targeted advertising related to the users' surfing. The website, stopphoulplay.com, has been set up by Phorm to counter the small amount of people and ...



April 29, 2009

EC starts Phorm legal case

by David Allen
As expected, the European Commission has started legal proceeding against the UK government over the targeted advertising system run by Phorm. This comes after the EC received complaints about the secret trials carried out by Phorm on customers of BT without their consent. BT, Phorm and ...



Government and Phorm in contact over legal issues

by David Allen
The Home Office has been accused of working with the targeted advertising firm Phorm over whether its advertising solution was legal. The Home Office totally denies that it has colluded with Phorm, but according to the Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, Baroness Sue Miller, copies of emails have come to light showing that the Home Office offered advice ...



April 24, 2009

Virgin Media stays with Phorm

by David Allen
There have been rumours that some internet service providers are considering pulling out from any deal that they may have with the targeted advertising service Phorm. However, these rumours have been countered by Phorm who claim that BT and Virgin Media will not be pulling out from using the service, despite claims ...



April 22, 2009

Privacy International on the Phorm situation

by David Allen
The question of BT's secret testing of Phorm is being taken up by Privacy International (PI) the human rights group based in London. Human rights covers surveillance and invasion of privacy, which means that the Phorm issue is right in PI’s ball park and it has begun by criticising the lack ...



April 16, 2009

Amazon says no to Phorm

by David Allen
The book seller and online retailer Amazon has announced that it will be stopping the targeted advertising system Phorm, also known as "Webwise", from tracking its customers' movements on the Amazon web pages. Phorm has become famous through secret testing with ...



April 15, 2009

EU may take UK to court over Phorm

by David Allen
The European Commission is said to be taking legal action against the UK government over the alleged breach of data protection under EU law. This has come about through the problems created by BT and the targeted web advertising company Phorm, when they conducted secret trails of the system on ...



April 9, 2009

Phorm wants to pay users

by David Allen
From the latest move by the targeted web advertising company Phorm, it seems that it is willing to pay or bribe, depending on which way you are looking at it, users to sign up to the system. Phorm is considering contributing to the customers broadband bill or is even willing to make a donation to charity, for any user ...



March 11, 2009

EU hoping to solve the Phorm question

by David Allen
Could the legal questions that surround the introduction of the targeted advertising system known as Phorm be answered soon? The European Commissioner Viviane Reding hopes so, since she is looking into the secret trials that were conducted by Phorm and BT, in order to find out if EU data protection laws were ...



March 2, 2009

Phorm gets all legal over Which? Report

by David Allen
When the consumer champion Which? conducts a customer survey, businesses listen and take notes, or most of the time they do. The Which? survey showed a large amount of internet service providers' customers being against Phorm, the targeted advertising programme that monitors usage and directs advertising according to their tastes. However, shortly after Which? sent the press release out ...



February 11, 2009

BT and Phorm ready to start by end of year?

by David Allen
The targeted advertising company Phorm is saying that due to the success of its third trial with BT, which started in December, the system will be ready to be rolled out across the BT network by the end of the year. However word from inside ...



January 8, 2009

Phorm thinking about incentives

by David Allen
Once again it looks as if the targeted advertising company, Phorm, is looking for ways to encourage customers to accept the service, despite rules and regulations put in place to prevent it monitoring the web activity of users without their consent. Last year the Information Commissioners Office stated that the future deployment of any system like Phorm will have ...



December 17, 2008

Virgin Media looking at Phorm

by David Allen
It has been a big week for Virgin Media with the launch of their super fast broadband network, but something that slipped under all the flashing lights and music was the fact that they are very interested in looking at Phorm to deliver advertising to their customers. This system has not gone down very well with ...



BT to move forward with Phorm

by David Allen
It looks as if BT’s final trial of the targeted advertising system Phorm is over. Shares in Phorm have gone up and BT will be planning the next stage of the deployment, which is going to be the rolling out of the system throughout ...



December 2, 2008

Former Chancellor joins Phorm board

by David Allen
The controversial targeted advertising company, Phorm, is back in news as the former conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont, has been confirmed as joining the board. The move has shaken up the company with the chairman and three other board members being pushed out, which puts the chief executive and a major shareholder in control of the struggling ...



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 ...



November 20, 2008

BT bans Phorm discussion

by David Allen
It seems that BT is asking for trouble as it has banned any discussion about the Phorm, or as they call it Webwise, issue on any of its customer forums. Not only that, all threads that relate to the targeted advertising system have been deleted going to back to February of ...



November 14, 2008

Phorms future uncertain at some ISP’s

by David Allen
Phorm had initially thought that when they started trails with BT, that this would be the start of a great relationship with all of the UK’s internet service providers, but when news of the secret BT trials can to light, everything changed. Now it seems ...



November 11, 2008

A Phorm in the side of BT

by David Allen
It makes no difference if it is called Phorm or BT Webwise, the internet traffic management system is going to upset some of BT’s customers. However when a Plusnet subscriber gets the invitation screen which states, "As a ...



October 31, 2008

Orange will not use Phorm

by David Allen
Any doubts as to whether or not Orange broadband would be using the tracking technology known as Phorm have got the answer from the senior vice president of Orange online advertising, Paul Francois Fournier, and it is no, they will not be using Phorm. The ...



October 15, 2008

Possible private prosecution against Phorm

by David Allen
It seems that even though the City of London police were not able to investigate Phorm and BT, because of the complexity and cost of mounting a full investigation into the secret trials of the targeted advertising scheme, a private prosecution is not out of the question according to the Crown ...



October 14, 2008

EU not happy with UK over Phorm

by David Allen
It seems that the European Commission (EC) are not happy with the response that the UK government's Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) gave with regards to the EC letter over the deployment of Phorm. The EC have sent another letter demanding clarification of the legal issues that apply to ...



October 6, 2008

Watch out for Phorm small print

by David Allen
By now there are many subscribers to BT services who have been contacted by BT with regards to being selected for the trial of the online-targeted advertising system Phorm. However, the small print that comes with the internet monitoring service has been studied very closely. ...



September 29, 2008

BT to start Phorm tomorrow

by David Allen
BT have not wasted anytime in setting the Phorm targeted advertising system rolling. It has only been a few days since the police dropped their investigation, however, as from tomorrow (Tuesday 30th September) the third and final trial will be starting. Unlike the secret trials, which caused all of the problems ...



September 23, 2008

Phorm case dropped by the police

by David Allen
For many internet users, the police getting involved in the secret trials of target advertising system Phorm, by internet service provider BT, would raise hopes of finally getting to the bottom of the whole saga. However, it seems that both Phorm and BT have ...



September 17, 2008

Phorm rollout, the Government’s response

by David Allen
In response to the questions being asked by the EU, the UK government has said that it is happy that Phorm conformed to the current EU data laws and that any future rollout of the targeted advertising system will have to comply with certain conditions. If Phorm is to be deployed, the government says that it must be done ...



September 8, 2008

Police to investigate BT

by David Allen
BT’s secret testing of the online advertising system Phorm is to be investigated by the Police. This follows the protests that BT shareholders had at their annual general meeting where the customers of BT showed their distaste ...



September 5, 2008

Phorm waiting for BT

by David Allen
The internet service provider, adware business Phorm, has had to reassure the company's shareholders that their business is in good shape following a fall in share price to an all time low of £5.80. Over the last year shares have fallen by almost seventy per cent, although after the announcement the share price did recover a bit to ...



August 12, 2008

Is Phorm getting to BT?

by David Allen
It is supposed that BT has already found ten thousand volunteers for the next trial of Phorm, and BT has been saying that the trial is due to take place for some time, but as yet this has not happened. In fact at the ...



August 7, 2008

EU wants UK’s input on Phorm

by David Allen
The European Union's Commissioner for Information, Society and Media, Viviane Reding, has written to the UK government with regards to finding out their take on the Phorm situation. She wants the UK to provide the EU with their view as to whether or not Phorm complies with current data protection legislation. Although the actual content of the letter is ...



July 17, 2008

Phorm protesters at BT AGM

by David Allen
It should have been a celebration of how well BT has done over the past year for shareholders in the company, but they were reminded that many BT customers are not happy with the company’s plans to introduce the Phorm software, which uses customers' ...