Phorm Secretly Used By American ISPs As Well

from the totally-transparent? dept

Looks like Phorm may be facing another headache as The Register has found out that it was quietly used by some American ISPs, as well. Earlier stories had suggested that Phorm, which tracks your web surfing at the ISP level and customizes ads based on your clickstream data, was only testing the service in Europe, while competitor NebuAd was focused on the US. Phorm is facing some legal inquiries in Europe, while NebuAd is laying people off as Congress is investigating the legality of the service.

But the most bizarre aspect of this is Phorm's claim that its tests with US ISPs was "transparent." If that's the case, it's odd that no one had pointed it out before. That would suggest that it wasn't nearly as transparent as Phorm claims. In fact, it suggests the opposite.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Griffon, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 7:33pm

    So which ISP?

    Anyone know which ISP(s)?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Overcast, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 8:18pm

    "Nonetheless, the Phorm spokesman says the company's stateside trials were in not secret. "The services were transparent to users and information such as how to opt out, who provided the service and the privacy policy was easily accessible," he told us. "For example, each ad had a link that allowed users to find more information on opting out and the service. This was a level of disclosure ahead of its time."

    If it was 'transparent' how would users even know to opt out? Kind of a 'questionable' statement there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 11:17pm

    Transparent means it's difficult to see.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Chunky Vomit, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 1:13am

    Cox Communications Perhaps?

    Wouldn't surprise me. All of a sudden, my dynamic IP has gone to a static IP. I have wondered why, and I'm inclined to think that this idea should be on the list of reasons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Ferin (profile), Aug 14th, 2008 @ 4:46am

    We didn't obfuscate it

    By "Transparent" I think he means "We didn't lie about it yet."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    John, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 5:16am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    wah wah wahhh, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    hosts file

    Hosts file FTW. No more ads from which ever sites you want to block. They won't show up or they will display "Page not found". ISP loses.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Overcast, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 6:43am

    Yeah, I suppose from the 'strictest' sense, the transparent and opt-out *can* work together, but in the sense of honesty and a customer friendly standpoint, it doesn't fly.

    It's like fine print on the back of a contract.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Nasch, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 8:09am

    Re: hosts file

    Firefox + AdBlock is way easier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    mobiGeek, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 8:10am

    Different take on

    Maybe it isn't that the testing process was transparent (i.e. they were disclosing their actions), but that the tests themselves were transparent to end-users (i.e. undetectable)...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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