ISPreview - Alexander Hanff Anti-Phorm Interview
Alexander Hanff (Anti-Phorm) Interview
By: Mark Jackson - June 25th, 2008 : Page 4 -of- 4
"The Phorm advertising and anti phishing system does not store any personally identifiable information"

Phorm’s Director of Corporate and Internet Communications, Alex Laity, has called Alexander Hanff’s remarks in the previous interview both “inaccurate and misleading” and has issued its own responses, which we’ve published below:

1.  Claims that Phorm sell information to the highest bidder.

Phorm: This is simply not true. The Phorm advertising and anti phishing system does not store any personally identifiable information nor store any browsing histories so there is no personal data to share or sell. In fact, academic Richard Clayton supports our privacy claims stating that:

“Phorm argue, with some justification, that their system does not permit them to identify individuals and that they meet and exceed all necessary Data Protection regulations — producing a system that is superior to other advertising platforms that profile Internet users.”

2.  Misrepresentation of Phorm’s plans for user consent once its advertising and anti phishing system is fully deployed in the UK.

Phorm: Once we deploy our system in the UK, participation will always be a choice and we look forward to demonstrating how we will exceed existing industry standards for valid informed user consent. Users will always be given a transparent choice of using the service.

3.  Misrepresentation of Phorm by using our broadly worded ICO Registration document to suggest the company’s advertising and anti phishing system stores personally identifiable information.

Phorm: Phorm’s advertising and anti-phishing system does not store any personally identifiable information – a fact verified by independent experts including Richard Clayton, 80/20 Thinking and Ernst & Young. We simply show relevant ads to users on an anonymous basis based on predefined advertising channels triggered as a result of their Internet browsing.

Separately, we have registered with the ICO as there is data that all companies handle in order to manage their businesses from marketing enquiries to employee performance reviews. This is entirely unrelated to the operation of the advertising and anti phishing system.

Not only is the Phorm technology a ground breaking step forward in online privacy but it has the potential to radically improve the Internet. It addresses the two biggest concerns users have about the Internet by reducing the amount of irrelevant advertising that people will see and will give them a safer Internet experience with its always on anti phishing protection.

With our technology small websites and ISPs will, for the first time, get a slice of the billions spent on Internet advertising. Last year just 50 US websites got 91% of all the all online advertising revenues while the average user in Japan is connecting to the Internet at speeds 10 times faster than in the UK. The Phorm system will help redistribute advertising money more widely so that Internet users will benefit from a greater diversity of content and from increased investment in better services.


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