No Mistake at All
@Dervla - please tell me this is a joke on your part?
But in case it's not::
(i) Phorm has been tested three times by BT; twice illegally by stealth and once openly. But in any case, if the authorities have reason to believe that someone or some body is proposing to commit an illegal act or acts, then they can and must act to forestall it. This is the case here.
(ii) You forget the websites. A user may give permission to Phorm to read what he/she types in on the internet, but no user can give unilateral permission for Phorm to intercept the response from my website. And given that Phorm will use what it reads to, in effect, alert any of my competitors who use Phorm's OIX ad-serving system and try to wrench sales away from me, I don't *want* Phorm intercepting my responses. It's a very real privacy issue for me.
(iii) As it happens, we know *exactly* how Phorm is/was planned to be implemented. The details going forward may be done a little differently, but UK and EU law remain crystal clear on what is and what is not permitted. And currently, Phorm, rather than accepting those laws and trying to work within them, is in denial that they even apply to it.
Kent has suggested that us calling Phorm 'illegal' is 'emotive'. Which is very odd, as I doubt that he would regard the advice he purports to have sought as to Phorm's legality as 'emotive'.
Rather, he would think it an objective view; as indeed, is the FIPR's chapter-and-verse statement of the opposite view. IANAL, but their guy is.
But as I said above, we already have the laws we need; just not, apparently the will amongst the powers that be to enforce them. But if our new ally Viviene can administer the appropriate kick in the privates, perhaps they will learn that they should not expose themselves to this charge.