EC keeps tabs on Virgin's web-snooping ploy

The European Commission said it will keep a close watch on Virgin Media's contentious deep packet inspection of customers' Internet traffic.

The traffic monitoring tool, "CView" which was developed by Detica, scans web taffic in what Virgin says is an attempt to evaluate the extent of "piracy" taking place down its pipes.

Having had its cage rattled by Privacy International last year, the Commission is apparently keepinga close eye on Virgin. A spokesperson told ZDNet: "The Commission's services will closely monitor this case."

Head of Ethical Networks at Privacy International, Alexander Hanff, said he is "deeply concerned that Detica’s CView used in this way will infringe on consumer’s fundamental rights to privacy as afforded to them under UK and EU Law."

He confessed to being "dismayed that despite the Commission’s Infringement Action, the private sector still believe they can conduct such activity lawfully. The Commission have made themselves completely clear that informed consent is required under existing EU Directives. Due to the chaotic enforcement by relevant public authorities, that the UK has become a hotbed for surveillance."

A spokesperson for Virgin Media has insisted that the company has already been in discussions with the EC to make ensure its snooping policy is kosher.