Friday, 27 February 2009

Strange disappearances online - BT/Phorm getting agressive?

Worrying news has been highlighted on the Save UK internet privacy - reject ISPs that use Phorm facebook group.

For those who don't facebook (and for those who do, join the group and spread the word!), Phorm is an advertising company that wants to track our web habits so they can then personalise the adverts we see on the web. There are obvious privacy implications here.

BT and Phorm famously ran secret and allegedly illegal internet monitoring trials in 2006 and 2007 using this technology. People have told the government how this breached UK law but the government is refusing to do anything about it and now the European Commission is threatening to take formal action against the UK government for letting this slide.

Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse's 'Talk Talk have since also signed a deal with Phorm.

But, enough of the history. Apparently Which did a survey into consumer attitudes to having their information tracked in this way and several news organisations picked it up or wrote related articles about Phorm's plans.

However, the PA article, the Telegraph article, one on Virgin Media and the channel 4 news video have all mysteriously disappeared (you can still read the Daily Mail article).

This blogger wrote about Phorm and pretty quickly got read by someone from the company, so I'm looking forward to the doubling of my readership purely from Phorm PR lackeys!

I can understand the obvious leverage they have with Virgin Media but what pressure could they bring to bear on these other respected news organisations?

Update: Doh! Well, maybe these media organisations are looking to do a deal with Phorm too. So much for my insightful analysis!

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