My letter going out to news channels, gov bodies and one MEP.
Phorm and the profiteering of BT, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse.
Or, how your online browsing habits are up for sale.
I've just been left wondering why no decent investigation or coverage off the Phorm and BT/Virgin Media/Carphone warehouse association has not been carried out in any depth by any news media or unbiased governmental body, has investigative journalism truly died in the country? Are the laws of British citizens no longer applicable to big businesses?
Phorm, an ex adware/spyware company (placing files unbeknownst onto a user’s computer without their knowledge) is run by a man called Kent Ertrugul who used to run a company, 121 media. This company would watch your browsing habits so that targeted ads could be delivered whilst you were surfing. Most antispyware programs would delete these cookies as spyware. As 121 Media they ran a series of secret trials with BT without their customer’s knowledge or consent in 2006 and 2007.
Having changed their name they now intend that ad targeting be run by your internet service provider so antispyware will no longer have anything to delete. As Phorm they are being allowed to run their own proprietary software on two of the UKs largest broadband servers, BT & Virgin Media, who do not have access to their code, yet who can state with unequivocal assurance that it is safe, and that identifiable customer information cannot be seen.
How one top man, Stratis Scleparis, from BT has moved across to Phorm after the secret and illegal profiling trials of ‘06, ‘07, and how over 9000 people have signed a government petition trying to stop it has caused little to no reaction in the countries news media.
This is invasion of privacy on a massive scale yet the BBC seems hardly aware of it except for one little item where they appear to agree that the secret BT profiling trials of some 8000 customers last year may have been illegal - well, I've not seen anyone arrested yet, not even an investigation – what gives?
The opt in/opt out measures (requiring a cookie?) are a joke as all your info still goes through the profiler, which, apparently never gets to Phorm, but seeing as how the code on the ISPs server belongs to Phorm, I’m unsure how exactly the ISP’s know, with such confidence, what information is (or will be when the code is updated) passed through.
Labour MP Patricia Hewitt is on the BT Board which might explain somewhat why more fuss is not being made about this issue, and of course, Stratis Scleparis, the BT Retail CTO moved over to become Phorm CTO might explain why BT are desperately pushing this through.
Thanks for reading - Tony F Paulazzo.
If you're still reading, any thoughts of what I've missed, what else needs to be said, etc, Cheers.