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Backlash Continues for Phorm

by David Brooks | 27.04.2009
Phorm LogoPhorm (also known as Webwise) is the controversal ad serving system which profiles users browsing habits to serve ads based on which sites they visit. Full UK implementation of the Phorm technology has yet to be implemented due to opposition from privacy groups. So far there has only been a limited trial with 10,000 BT customers in the UK.

Chief privacy officers at Microsoft, Google/Youtube, Facebook, AOL/Bebo, Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay have all been sent copies of  letters signed by the digital rights campaign group and anti-phorm campaigners, urging them not to use Phorm.

Last week Amazon publicly announced that it would not allow Phorm to use its web pages to gather data on internet users. Wikipedia are the latest to join Amazon in rejeting the use of Phorm, The Open Rights Group had the following to say about their action:

We would like to thank Wikipedia and Amazon for prioritising their users’ privacy and taking this stand. We hope Facebook, AOL, Bebo, MSN, Google and others can follow their lead

Phorm have said it’s customers will be given an opportunity as to whether they would like to use the Webwise service and hinted that customers could be given incentives to sign up, saying reduced broadband connections or a donation to charity was being considered by the company.

Read more about Wikipedia here. Read how Security Firms have scrutonised the technology here.