WWW's Inventor objects to ISPs' spying techniques

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has voiced his disapproval of the secretive Phorm trial which would see ISPs monitor internet connections to collect data that would help them profile internet users for marketing purposes.

The man behind the World Wide Web said that it is essential that consumers' rights were protected and that the websites they visited were not logged by commercial entities without their permission.

Talk Talk, BT and Virgin have all three announced that they will implement a web tracking service from Phorm; a move that has already caused great concern for privacy advocates.

BT has already started its PR campaign to convince its users that Phorm is a security feature that could make browsing safer as it can warn users about potential phishing websites.

Sir Berners-Lee mentions that one possible solution could be for advertisers to pay for data that individuals provide to them; this, in due time, could lead to ISPs either charging extra for extra privacy or giving a discount if you allow your details to be passed on marketers.

Google and Facebook - and indeed most popular websites - have a way of tracking the minutest details of their users although ISPs go a step further allowing data logging to be individualised.

Yahoo for example has more than 2500 potential data collection events per person that visits the company's site or ad network and potentially could gather more information than any Phorm-based tracking system could ever dream of.

All this points to the gradual and irremediable erosion of the individual's privacy.