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EU Warns UK Government over Phorm Inaction

Posted: 12th Feb, 2009 By: MarkJ
The European Commission's (EC) telecoms commissioner, Viviane Reding, has confirmed that BT's secret 2006 and 2007 trials of Phorms controversial advertising system, which were conducted without customers’ knowledge or consent, are still under investigation.

Reding has reportedly now written a third letter to the UK government in response to its previous replies, which apparently failed to offer a satisfactory answer to the EC's concerns over Phorm's use:

Reding's chief spokesman, Martin Selmayr, told The Register: "The European Commission's investigation with regard to the Phorm case is still ongoing. The Commission may have to proceed to formal action if the UK authorities do not provide a satisfactory response to the Commission's concerns on the implementation of European law in the context of the Phorm case."

To date both the current government, City of London Police and Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) have effectively turned their noses up at the issue. This is despite many industry experts and the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR) claiming that Phorm breaks European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

The weight of official support, at least in the UK, would otherwise appear to be falling in Phorm’s favour. Mind you, one quick look at the Police’s laughable reasoning for not investigating BT’s secret trials of the technology shows how technical ignorance could also be to blame – here.
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