Opting Out Of Phorm The BT Way

Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Web

Some good news at last…

BT has quietly ditched a controversial system that tracks the internet habits of its customers, developed by the technology firm Phorm, which has been attacked as online snooping by privacy campaigners.Guardian.co.uk (6 July): BT drops Phorm targeted ad service after customers cry foul over privacy

I’m not sure why BT felt the need to quietly ditch it. This is news that — while it might well upset Phorm — is likely to please BT’s 4.8 million broadband customers. Of course, that’s not the end of the road for Phorm/Webwise as other ISPs are still believed to be signed up to the service (in particular TalkTalk and Virgin Media).

…oh, wait a minute:

Phorm’s ambitions to launch its controversial online advertising technology in the UK appeared doomed today as Carphone Warehouse’s TalkTalk admitted it had joined BT in mothballing plans to roll out the service and Virgin Media looked set to follow suit.Guardian.co.uk (7 July): Phorm Dealt Major Blow as TalkTalk drops Webwise

Yowch. That’s not good. Particularly since even if they can find a new ISP, there are less and less websites willing to be involved… Amazon, Wikipedia, and now even apparently the UK Government have opted out:

The UK government is also understood to have opted its domain names – such as www.direct.gov.uk – out of Webwise amid concerns about privacy. Guardian.co.uk: BT drops Phorm targeted ad service after customers cry foul over privacy [2]

And strangely enough, while El Reg has an in-depth piece on this news, there’s no mention of it on Stop Phoul Play, which is where the organisation itself would want us to go to find out the “truth” about Phorm. And yet, seemingly they have been very quiet on this news.

Perhaps, like in A Few Good Men, this is a truth that they can’t handle…?

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1 Comment to Opting Out Of Phorm The BT Way

  1. Gary Miller says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Maybe you were just the last straw for them; urging us all to be Phorm Prvacy Pirates and all. :)

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