The European Commission today delivered an ultimatum to internet firms - improve your approach to privacy online, or face a regulatory clampdown from Brussels. Meglena Kuneva, the consumer affairs Commissioner, told a gathering of ISPs, major websites and advertising firms they are violating "basic consumer rights in terms of …
That's Phorm phucked then.
"Phorm officially announced a trial of its technology by Korea Telecom"
Is that North Korea by any chance? That's a market that they should fit into nicely.
Phorm's big problem is Deep Packet Inspection
The other ad networks are certainly sinister.
But where Phorm differs is using Deep Packet Inspection to spy on your communications.
Spying. Snooping. Industrial espionage, Communication profiling, Copyright theft, Surveillance, Trademark infringement.. Call it what you will.
But the fact remains - it is simply illegal, unethical, immoral, and utterly wrong.
The reason the UK Govt can't see that is because they are simply illegal, unethical, immoral, and utterly wrong.
It's about time...
Although whether it actaully makes a difference remains to be seen; oh and am I the only tickled by Phorm's attempts to sell their horrible malware to Korea? Following an Epic Fail in Britain Phorm peddles their garbage to communists who'd a) love that level scrutiny over their people and b) probably don't have particularly good human rights legislation...
Flames coz Phorm can't be phlamed enough!
On the other side of the pond
Would someone kindly explain to me why, in America, (as in USA not Venezuela which is also sadly in the same hemisphere) such a discussion is not even happening?
I objectively believe the US is the most directly democratic country in the world. It is of course a republic like every other country whose politicians proclaim, for the mouth breathing public, that their system of government is a democracy. But still, lacking the rather ridiculous concept of a PM we are generally a leg up, avoiding loons like Mr Brown. Of course we have loons galore of our own, so the system is clearly not all one would wish it to be. But I digress.
The point is that while the EU is a generally dubious and notoriously power hungry "government without a country" it still really does some leading edge work in the area of human rights. Here we have a story where they are at least threatening to force corporations to acknowledge human beings have more sanction on life and liberty than corporations do on gross profit. Yet in America (USA again) such a concept is completely alien to the several million (yes there really are that many) government officials and workers.
Something is starting to smell a bit rancid in the land of the free and home of the brave (freeloader? brave new world??)
Does anyone think its ironic that theres a huge outcry about Google Streetview, but Phorm barely received a mention from the mainstream press? Google, time to work on your bribery.
I'm hoping that they do pass guidelines. But then again, look at Phorm/BT. There was legislation making what they did illegal, and they still did it, and were defended by the Gov, including some elements of the ICO. So, tell me what exactly would happen if there were guidelines - do we really believe Phorm et al would be prosecuted?
Frankly, I'm very excited to see what happens with the whole Phorm/EU saga. It sounds like the EU is not keen to just let BT/Phorm get away with it.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha. That is all.
in south korea..
In south Korea, mostly old people are spied on by Phorm
.... Oh, sorry, wrong website.
Ask Jacqui Smith is she still in favour?
So Jacqui how do you feel now about having your privacy invaded?
Can you see the dangers now of listening at doors and publishing?
How would you like PHORM to profile your broadband or better still your husbands?
We might find something intresting there.......
I want to control the information which other people have and use about me and my family. Its not too much to ask, is?
Wrong story title
The story should be titled: "EU wants monopoly on violating privacy".
Why are robbery, extortion, abduction, assault, etc. punished by law? Because goverments don't like competition.
Anyone who gives any credit to the EU is in for a big disappointment.
North Korea != South Korea although Kent Bubblegum would be interested in any vacancy for a new 'beloved leader'.
"I objectively believe the US is the most directly democratic country in the world. It is of course a republic like every other country whose politicians proclaim, for the mouth breathing public, that their system of government is a democracy. But still, lacking the rather ridiculous concept of a PM we are generally a leg up, avoiding loons like Mr Brown. Of course we have loons galore of our own, so the system is clearly not all one would wish it to be. But I digress."
ODFO pompous tw*t
Who cares about phorm?
With the availability of things like the Winhelp2002 HOSTS file, who cares if ISPs want to packet sniff. Its easy to block access to all of the ad sites, and loads of other things using this HOSTS techniques, so they can target all the adds they want at me, I never see them.
Who cares about phorm?
> so they can target all the adds they want at me, I never see them
I don't know whether you're working for them, or just woefully uninformed. Deep Packet Inspection spies on your internet traffic. Blocking the ads Phorm serves up after the fact does nothing to change that. This is known, classically, as the "Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal" fallacy.
not about adverts
come on people. anyone who actually believes that the real purpose of phorm is for target advertising needs to wake up.
more experienced computer peeps, the ISP's, and most likley the gvt, ALL know very well how easily adverts can be blocked and so the advertising will never be effective. so why go-ahead and do it anyway?
the answer is simple. it's all really about keeping you (the potential fireworks (lol) terrrrrist) under close surveillance at all times. our UK gvt is running scared now because they know their days are numbered.
...they'll tell you what kind of lightbulbs to buy, track your driving to the meter... but they'll save you from intrusive advertising! Looks like they're opposed to privacy invasion, as long as they're not the ones perpetrating it.
"The reason the UK Govt can't see that is because they are simply illegal, unethical, immoral, and utterly wrong."
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the UK Govt. (or, to be more precise, those in it) simply don't know the difference between right and wrong. This personality defect is usually termed "unprincipled".
I was reading an ancient book of humor last night, "Kai Lung Unrolls his Mat" by Ernest Bramah, and came across this intriguing aphorism: "the truly humane ruler turns a lethargic eye toward a great deal that might be actually pernicious in a cherished people's conduct." Would that Mrs. Timney and her minions would honor the sentiment so expressed, curb their inexhaustible zeal to correct every deficiency in society, and cease striving for a state of behavioral perfection!
Don't get confused by the FUD equating Google and Phorm. Google != Phorm.
Google serves ads based on tracking cookies. These can be easily blocked, as you know.
Phorm meanwhile is sniffing your entire connection at ISP level. So, long before your ad blocker kicks in, Phorm has already stolen your data.
Google is annoying and intrusive, and easily blockable.
Phorm is immoral and illegal, and must be stopped.
Google != Phorm.
@ Ask Jacqui Smith is she still in favour?
"How would you like PHORM to profile your broadband or better still your husbands?"
Good grief, she has more than one husband? No wonder they need dirty movies, she obviously cannot service all of them and govern a whole country. Is she one of them polymomial types, you know, like Al Gebra from Arabia?
@Iain B. Findleton
BT have stated that blocking Phorms webwise domain in the HOSTS files will result in NO internet.
This was tested during the 3rd trial and does block ALL websites.
Use Yauba instead, no need to worry about privacy
Instead of rallying against Google, she should just recommend people use privacy protecting alternatives like Yauba and Tor. This way we can create some healthy competition and a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom.
I have been using Yauba since it came out ... and I have not looked back.
Things are not necessarily as bad as they seem to you, the FTC does, in fact, have a good deal to say about behavioral marketing here is a link regarding their latest actions:
It is not surprising that the Reg would pay more attention to what is happening in the UK and Europe on the topic of behavioral marketing, but that does not necessarily imply things are quiescent in the US.
I would not, BTW, characterize the US as being "most directly democratic country in the world". The Swiss, for one, have a form of initiative and referendum at the national level, whereas we do not. I think a more accurate characterization of the US would be something like most institutionally mistrustful of concentration of power.
Parliamentary systems do not separate Legislative from Executive power to the same degree as in the US. This, mind you, is a structural feature which can be overcome by circumstance. If a President ends up with a supine Congress (as has happened from time to time, including recently) this check on Executive power becomes more theoretical than actual, at which point Presidential power is mainly limited by what the Supreme Court is willing to allow. The price we pay for this is that it is entirely possible for the President and Congress to be at cross purposes (as, for example, in the Gingrich-Clinton budget showdown). Fortunately (from my perspective) a Congress at loggerheads with a President is more the natural state of things than a rubber stamp Congress. It may make things harder to accomplish, but I feel that is a price worth paying.
***"How would you like PHORM to profile your broadband or better still your husbands?"***
First expense fiddling, and now *bigamy*!
What a little minx....
Many Internet firms have been really pushing the limits of privacy policies- just assuming you want more of what they serve up without permsiion. It is hard now to even get them off your computer. Privacy is very important and we need to have choice. I think Aystematics.us has some good stuff we need to listen to in America. the EEC is way ahead of us.
I couldn't care less
About targeted advertising - I'll never see it anyway - but I do care about companies companies obtaining it in the first place and using my private activity to generate corporate profit. That's the point that seems to be so often missed - only Tim Berners-Lee seems to share that view - and frankly all I actually care about.
What of AT&T and HMG wiki traffic management ammendments?
Reg - Speaking of rights, did the EU Telecom Package include or exclude the traffic management clauses in Article 22 (3) lobbied for by AT&T and our own MEPs. Have not spotted anything from this closed door meeting in Brussels on Monday night on this specific matter. They were giving themselves more discretion over our traffic, rather than informing us what they've actually built.