Phorm gets UK government backing

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Jason

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Phorm has received it's biggest endorsement yet - a statement from the UK government declaring its controversial ad targeting technology legal.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has released a statement to European Union in response to questions from regulators. The statement said that Phorm is able to operate under existing laws.

"Users will be presented with an unavoidable statement about the product and asked to exercise choice about whether to be involved," the statement read. "Users will be able to easily access information on how to change their mind at any point and are free to opt in or out of the scheme," it continued.

By partnering with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) including BT, Phorm can target ads at users signed up to the providers. Phorm has unleashed a PR offensive having seen media scrutiny and consumer concerns grow to the point where anti-Phorm pressure groups have been formed.

View: Brand Republic
 

Jason

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Joined
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorm. Explains it better than I could. :p

Phorm is working with major US and British ISPs including British Telecom, Virgin Media, and TalkTalk on a targeted advertisement service to monitor browsing habits and serve relevant advertisements to the end user. Phorm say these deals will give them access to the surfing habits of 70% of British households with broadband.
A diagram showing how the Phorm system creates copies of its tracking cookie in each domain the end-user visits, based on the report published by Richard Clayton.
A diagram showing how the Phorm system creates copies of its tracking cookie in each domain the end-user visits, based on the report published by Richard Clayton.

It would work by categorising user interests and matching them with advertisers who wish to target that type of user. "As you browse we're able to categorise all of your Internet actions", said Phorm COO Virasb Vahidi. "We actually can see the entire Internet."

It is claimed that data collected would be completely anonymous, and that Phorm will never be aware of the identity of the user or what they have browsed. By monitoring users' browsing, Phorm also offers protection against online fraud and phishing. If users try to access a phishing site that is listed on a database available to Phorm, a warning will appear on the browser, although phishing sites not on the database won't trigger any warning.
 
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