British ISPs Hand Over Your Surfing Data To (Former?) Spyware Firm

from the privacy? dept

Earlier this month, we noted that three large UK ISPs had agreed to a questionable deal with a startup named “Phorm.” The ISPs would share all of your surfing data with Phorm who would then target advertisements to you based on your surfing patterns. We raised some privacy concerns, and noted that Phorm’s claims that it would anonymize the data were laughable, since every “anonymized” data set seems to get quickly de-anonymized. In the comments to that post, one commenter noted that the story was even worse, as Phorm was merely the reincarnation of a spyware firm that had made a rather infamous rootkit. Broadband Reports now has more on that story, noting that the firm has a very shady past. It makes you wonder why these big ISPs would link up with such a company and why more people aren’t up in arms about what their ISPs are doing with their data.

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Companies: phorm

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Comments on “British ISPs Hand Over Your Surfing Data To (Former?) Spyware Firm”

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8 Comments
Paul` says:

where will the ads be?

They’d get sued if they framed other websites to run their own ads down the side and the only other thing I can think of is making customers use their propitiatory browser with ads hard coded in which would be easily circumventable. Plus the frame ads would be easily blocked with Adblock.

Wasn’t there a leak of screenshots with an ISP developing this a few months back?

simon says:

surfing and privacy

we know that surfing on the net leaves trails all over, and a lot of this traffic is sniffed by programs, idea is , privacy if privacy on internet will not get the same level of concern like the one of the phone calls we make, all this will link to the extinct of privacy …

imagine, you’ll call to order a pizza, 2 minutes later you’ll get a call from an advertiser telling you that this other company has better pizza, better prices, better… whatever…
totally anonymous :)) but still your phone number…

something like this happened to internet, most of us don’t realize, me, i just love using no-script on firefox not to see them, but i know that the adds with links, etc , are there, linking maybe my ip right now to a nice an yummy pizza site 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

How will they install it?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/25/phorm_isp_advertising/
“The company’s business model revolves around distributing its PageSense technology to as many users as possible and showing users as many advertisements as possible, without causing negative reaction, to maximise response.

121Media currently acquires most of its users by integrating its PageSense Desktop technology with consumer software products known as distribution applications, which are offered free of charge to internet users in exchange for their permission to display advertisements.

PageSense Javascript can be embedded by a variety of partners, such as Internet Service Providers, serving pages to those connecting to the internet through them.”

In Summary, do not agree to D/L or install any “free” stuff

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