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Smaller UK ISPs Shun Phorm’s Advertising System
By: MarkJ - 29 February, 2008 (2:06 PM)

Phorm's advertising system, which proposes to anonymously collect the website browsing data from customers of BT, TalkTalk (Carphone Warehouse) and Virgin Media for use in targeted advertising campaigns, has certainly received its fair share of criticism this week (here and here).

The group has even been canvassing other major providers, such as Sky, Tiscali and Orange. Currently none of those have made a decision about whether or not to adopt the system and will hopefully gauge consumer concern, unlike BT and co. Meanwhile several smaller providers, including the Entanet supplied Aquiss, have come out with statements against the system:

Rumours are that Phorm are working with many more ISPs in the UK, which maybe the case, especially with larger ISPs who will be using this as a revenue stream.

However, following calls/emails into Customer Services from concerned customers, I would like to stress that Aquiss is not working with Phorm, never have and never will. This would be considered a breach of our own trust and privacy guidelines with customers.


Zen Internet's Senior Operations Manager, Gary Hough, issued a similar statement:

"Zen Internet is not one of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who have entered into a contract with Phorm and the Open Internet Exchange (OIX). Zen Internet has not passed customer data on to third parties. Zen Internet will continue to monitor OIX with regards to protecting its customers and their requirements."

Phorm is unlikely to target smaller providers and will instead concentrate on the largest operators, those with the financial muscle to push its hardware into service within their networks.

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