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EU Commissioner Sets Phorm Deadline for UK Gov

Posted: 06th Aug, 2008 By: MarkJ
Viviane Reding, a prominent European commissioner, has given the UK government until the end of August to respond to an EU letter questioning the legality of Phorm's controversial advertising system.

Phorm will work with ISPs (e.g. BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media) to anonymously monitor the websites you visit for development of targeted advertising campaigns. However, there have been fears that its methods could breach a number of laws, including some European ones:

According to a spokesman for Reding's information society and media commission, there is already a "dialogue" with the UK government although no details of this have been revealed. "We are working with a number of departments on a response," said a spokeswoman for the Department of Business.

The Foundation for Information Policy Research (Fipr) has been one of the more outspoken critics of Phorm. Fipr's general counsel Nicholas Bohm believes ISPs implementing the system could find website owners objecting. "There is going to be increased focus on the rights of website owners and their right to prevent material being used to the advantage of their competitors," he said.

The BBC News Online item notes that the content of the letter, which was sent during mid-July, has not been made public.
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