Europe Begins Legal Action Against The UK For Allowing Phorm To Proceed

from the a-little-privacy,-please dept

We were quite surprised when the UK gave a basic approval of Phorm's clickstream tracking/behavioral advertising effort -- despite widespread consumer outrage that their internet surfing was being tracked and sold for advertising purposes. And given that simple approval, Phorm has been looking to aggressively expand. However, it appears that other officials may have a different idea. The European Commission has "started legal action" against the UK for allowing Phorm to proceed, saying that it seemed likely to violate European privacy rules. Who knows if this will actually go anywhere, but it seems pretty clear that the rather widespread mistrust of Phorm is making sure that it's not able to do much at all without additional scrutiny.
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Filed Under: behavioral advertising, clickstream tracking, europe, privacy, uk
Companies: phorm


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  • identicon
    CleverName, 14 Apr 2009 @ 8:35pm

    Bad Phorm

    There is free software available that randomly browses thus polluting the Phorm database. It doesn't d/l all the big BW crap. If a significant percentage of users ran such software, I guess Phorm would try to have it declared illegal or something. Another thing that can be done is to change the cookie contents at set intervals.

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

  • identicon
    ClickStream, 14 Apr 2009 @ 8:45pm

    Copyright

    I dont think Phorm will have a market in the US for many reasons. One reason may be copyright. For once this law may produce a positive result for the consumer. The user creates a clickstream which Phorm would like to copy, without your permission. I suppose the ISP TOS will be changed to include forfeiture of your rights or better yet signing over copyright for all your work performed in the "cloud".

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

  • identicon
    Linda_Margaret, 15 Apr 2009 @ 1:24am

    UK legal relations with the EU

    I work in Social Media in the capital of Europe in Brussels. There is a trend in European culture and legal actions towards protection of private personal data, whereas in North American online culture and legal structure, the trend is more towards the protection of online copyright and content ownership and credit. I think that the UK, already an EU Member State with a history of several concerns regarding State sovereignty being superseded by EU institutions, may have finally forced a real show down with the European Court of Justice. The UK has been there before (over maintaining the UK measurements, of all things: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_Martyr), and struck a "let's do both UK and EU labeling". But this time, I think it will be much harder to strike a compromise. You can't maintain privacy while not maintaining it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2009 @ 5:58pm

    Amazon has informed Phorm that it wishes to opt out of the Phorm system, but Phorm has to use more than one click.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7999635.stm

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


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