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Legality Concerns Could Hinder Phorm's ISP Advertising Deal

curtis

Top Member
Well BT I wont be happy with [phorm] looking over my shoulder and if I think that my ISP signs up for it I will drop them in a flash:nod:
So BT you can keep the free security features:eek:
 

carrot63

Pro Member
Surely BT etc can just obtain consent for the 'interception' by altering the T&Cs so that by contracting with BT you consent? Whether you wish to receive the targetted ads or so-called security service could remain opt in/opt out by means of a cookie.

RIPA is apparently a bottomless Pandora's box.
 

Weatherlawyer

ULTIMATE Member
I feel like I am doubly screwed. And to cap it all my finances are so desperate I was even thinking of getting deeper into bed with these nogoodniks. Fortunately their server was maxed out and Firefox warned me off. So do I write to AOL to complain or will I just be wasting my time?
 

tech team

Member
Phorm / RIPA

Hi,

I’m from the tech team at Phorm and would like to clarify the point you raise re RIPA.
As some background, we’ve spent a long time developing our technology, systems and practices as regards privacy protection. We believe that most people like personalisation online. We just don’t believe they should have to give up their personal data to get it. And that philosophy has informed the development of our entire system.

There are three main hallmarks to the system: we don’t know who you are, we don’t know where you’ve been and participation is always a choice. Our technology adheres to these principles and we are fully confident that our system complies with the Data Protection Act, RIPA and other applicable UK law.

If you’d like more information drop me a line,

Cheers,

Techteam
 

Mel

ULTIMATE Member
We believe that most people like personalisation online. We just don’t believe they should have to give up their personal data to get it. And that philosophy has informed the development of our entire system.
So how do you explain the popularity of anti-spyware software such as adaware, spybot search and destroy etc.
 

Bob2002

ULTIMATE Member
...And that philosophy has informed the development of our entire system. ...
Your "philosophy" is to make lots of money by spying on customers' browsing habits. I guess you're posting here because your company is worried about not getting their hands on all that cash having seen the backlash against your scam. :hrmph:
 

Mel

ULTIMATE Member
Hmm, I wonder if there might also be a copyright infringment issue, as I understand it, Phorm intercepts browser pages and injects an Iframe with javascript (albeit hidden) to update its spyware cookie. So it has therefore modified copyrighted content without the authors consent.
 

carrot63

Pro Member
If they are indeed modifying content, I might add a prominent message to my sites that will appear only to users of those networks, warning that their browsing habits are being monitored by a 3rd party.
 

akbray

ULTIMATE Member
We believe that most people like personalisation online. We just don’t believe they should have to give up their personal data to get it.
In order to personalise anything, you have to have some information about the person, therefore by definition you are taking personal information from the victim/user.


There are three main hallmarks to the system: we don’t know who you are
Well the AOL debacle showed that supposedly anonymised data can be de-anonymised without too much difficulty. And the law suits that followed showed that people weren't happy about the release of the data.


we don’t know where you’ve been
That's what my girlfriend's family said when they first met me :)

participation is always a choice.

Does that mean it will be opt-in rather than opt-out? and that the details about what is transmitted to you will be fully explained along with the supposed security benefits?

Also, if someone opts-out (or doesn't opt-in), will all trace of any Phorm cookies/programs be removed, and will their browsing habits no longer be transmitted to Phorm, whether or not it is used to personalise ads?


----

IMO, my browsing habits are none of your business, and I don't want them transmitted to you or anybody else under any circumstances, and I will not use any ISP that I know has signed a contract with you.
 

akbray

ULTIMATE Member
If they are indeed modifying content, I might add a prominent message to my sites that will appear only to users of those networks, warning that their browsing habits are being monitored by a 3rd party.
I like that idea!!!
 

Mel

ULTIMATE Member
Hi,

We believe that most people like personalisation online.

Hmm, also if you are truely deluded enough to actually believe people really want this, why aren't you marketing it as stand alone software and cutting the ISP out so you don't have to give them a cut of your revenue stream?
 

Kits

Super Moderator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Hmm, also if you are truely deluded enough to actually believe people really want this, why aren't you marketing it as stand alone software and cutting the ISP out so you don't have to give them a cut of your revenue stream?
He knows it is a non starter I will not be allowing this if/when Virgin start this I will borrow money to get a Bt line in and bye Virgin after approx 20years phone then BB in 2000.

Seems the BT deal is going beta in March..

http://www.beta.bt.com/bta/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=2612&start=0&tstart=0
 
Last edited:

Mel

ULTIMATE Member
Lets hope Virgin see the error of their ways :(

I note a post from that thread indicates that some Plusnet users will be victims of this too http://www.beta.bt.com/bta/forums/message.jspa?messageID=13242#13242

Really? Then how come a member of the the Plusnet team responsible for communicating with users has told Plusnet users who connect direct to the BT network using Central Plus

<quote>It is our understanding that RIN customers will be affected by this.

We're currently collectng further details and we're currently drafting an email to advise those customers of what this can mean for them and giving information on how to rejoin the PlusNet network.</quote>


EDIT:

Also someone raised another potential legal issue:-

Secondly,
Clearly BT are no longer simple communications carriers with this process. How does BT consider that affects BT's liability for transport of illegal wares?
Although I suppose Phorm could be of benefit to anti-piracy companies to obtain data on customers interested in copyright infringing torrents etc.
 

carrot63

Pro Member
The opening post on the BT forum thread is a real carefully crafted shocker. Reading that you would think BT had nothing more in mind than doing their customers a huge favour by reducing the "number of irrelevant ads" and offering a security benefit available elsewhere for free. Not a hint that the trousering of a few quid is the main issue.
 

timeless

ULTIMATE Member
Staff member
Volunteer Mod
dont they make enough off us already eh? l agree.
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
Thank you - but if I want a laugh, I'll go and read the transcript of Jonathan Aitken's laughable "Simple sword of truth" statement, when he issued a writ for defamation against The Guardian in 1995. :rolleyes:
 

NewsreadeR

Regular Member
Hi all
I also work for the UK team for Phorm. You might be interested in the transcript of the live interview with Phorm's CEO which will soon be online at http://www.webwise.com/chat
Cheers
PhormUKtechteam
Nice Transcript. Where is it?

Until you post it if anyone wants to see what happened and what they said

http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/polls/21030-phorm-sky-broadband-would-you-stay-go-2.html

Oh and I am totally against your scam as well. Any ISP that adopts this and I am signed up to, will lose my business.

By the way also, I asked the following question:
Can you say for definite that Sky Broadband are not on the trial?
Which never got answered, if perhaps you really are from the Tech Team, do me a favour and find out for me.....
 

Mel

ULTIMATE Member
As I recall, Sky did make some changes to their privacy policy a few months ago that I was less than happy about, I'm now wondering if it was because they are considering phorm. Also their response to the register was rather worrying http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/29/phorm_broadband_isp_targets/


I'd hope Sky would be less inclined to adopt phorm than BT, because some customers would cancel their Sky TV service as well as their ADSL.

I suppose given Sky's prices, if they did decide to adopt Phorm, it might be worth investigating if an encrypted proxy based service is available from a trustworthy company, which other than migrating, seems to be the only way to avoid being spied on.
 
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