Amazon Rejects Phorm Deep Packet Tracking Technology

Online retailer Amazon said that it will not allow Webwise, the behavioural advertising solution devised by BT and Phorm, to scan through its product pages to deliver targeted ads.

In an email sent to a customer who questioned Amazon with regards to their stand over the Phorm issue, the managing director for Amazon.co.uk, Brian McBride, confirmed that the company has requested an "opt-out" for all their domains, which would in theory cover other regional versions of Amazon as well.

Amazon's decision comes after the Open Rights Group wrote back in March 2009 to a number of leading online technology websites including Microsoft, Google/Youtube, Facebook, AOL/Bebo, Yahoo and Ebay.

Phorm says that it anonymises the data that its solutions collect, making it impossible to identify who did what. The Open Rights Group however claims that Webwise and Phorm are acting illegally - a claim that the European Commission is backing - and could harm their company's reputation in the long term.

Google and Youtube are also apparently considering opting out of Phorm; a Google spokesperson told PCWorld that they do not do deep packet inspection. The European Commission had announced a couple of days ago that it could sue UK over the government's decision to allow Phorm to operate covertly.

Phorm told ITPro that "There is a process in place to allow publishers to contact Phorm and opt out of the system, but we do not comment on individual cases".

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