Spin, spin, spin...
"121Media [Phorm] will take action (both technical and public relations) to avoid any perception that their system is a virus, malware or spyware and to show that in effect it is a positive web development,"
'In effect'... That does tend to imply that isn't the purpose of it.
"BT also refused to reveal where in the national broadband network the thousands of guinea pigs were sourced from."
No **** they wouldn't! In order for someone to bring a criminal complaint someone has to be able to prove they have been the victim of a crime and when that crime occurred. BT and Phorm are relying on people not being able to bring complaints because they can't prove they were victims. The last thing they'll do is hand 28,000 (assuming the 2006 and 2007 victims were different people and every account was only one victim) the bullet to shoot them in the a*** with.
"...owing to the legal position, direct cookie dropping could not be trialed and should be verified once the legal position is clearer." = We know what we're doing is dodgy and could land us in a world of trouble.
Watkin wrote:"Targeted online advertising services should be provided with the explicit consent of ISPs' users or by the acceptance of the ISP terms and conditions." = We don't give a flying **** about the privacy of the public. Just send out a 4 page update to your Ts&Cs (which most ordinary people can't/don't have the time to read and understand), hide it in there and we won't touch you. In fact we may even want to buy the data in future to help us identify terrorists/kiddie fiddlers or anyone else that we may decide is undesirable or might stop us getting re-elected.
"We think it is unethical of the Register..."
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." –Mahatma Gandhi. Looks like El Reg is progressing nicely down that path then,