Xavier What we have to say on Twitter
Xavier Xavier

Finding Public Information


  Subscribe by email Subscribe via email

  Feed link Subscribe via RSS
  What is RSS? What is RSS?

Recent Posts


Is Phorm A Step Too Far?

June 11th, 2008 by Andreas Xavier in Business records. Topics:

While the hot debate on the internet at the moment is ID theft and the collecting of personal details, many people are becoming increasingly concerned about a new advertising system devised by a company called Phorm (formerly 121Media) which actually tracks people’s internet activity. Even though it is perhaps not your standard ID theft method, there are some who claim that the system is a step too far.

In simple terms the Phorm advertising system allows ISPs to monitor their user’s browsing habits and then using a sophisticated system they will then be able to show the user adverts which are perfectly targeted at their own specific interests. However, it is the way in which this data is collected and stored which is causing most concern.

The key point seems to be the identification of an individual user, and while Phorm claim that the system does not actually store personal details, each surfer being tracked is given their own ID number on the Phorm system. This is where the problems begin.

Firstly, many argue that the very fact that each user is allocated a specific number means that any one user can be identified and is not ‘anonymous’ on the Phorm database. The second major problem is the fact that the Phorm system is actually ‘intercepting’ your web page choices on the internet, in direct contravention of UK laws which state that the interception of internet traffic is illegal in its own right.

As the advertising market on the internet hots up it has been revealed that BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have all been working with Phorm for some time. Indeed, recent leaks from BT show that the company was carrying out secret tests as early as 2006, another action which many believe was immoral (in that users did not know they were being monitored) and illegal by the very fact they were intercepting internet traffic.

The issue of internet surveillance and the Phorm system looks likely to end up in the court rooms with a number of parties unhappy about the system, the methods used and the fact that a substantial number of surfers have been part of ‘tests’ without their knowledge.

About the author
Andreas co-founded Xavier Media® in 1996 and has since been involved in all kinds of development, marketing and making money online.


Subscribe to new posts from this blog

Leave a Reply

 line  line
 line © Copyright 1996- Xavier Media®. All rights reservered.
Contact us | Support/help | Privacy Policy | Company Info
The World According to Xavier | Domain Names