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EU Grants 30 Days To UK Government To Decide Over Phorm

The European Union (EU) has sent a letter to UK government, asking it to decide about the validity of web browsing tracking service from Phorm, within a span of 30 days.

The letter from the EU Telecom and Media Commissioner, Viviane Reding, requires the government to clarify, whether the Phorm’s Webwise System is in line with EU data privacy laws.

The issue raged since British Telecom (BT) conducted its infamous trial of the service by monitoring its subscribers, without actually intimating them; however, the matter was investigated by Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), but no action was taken at that time.

Phorm’s Webwise System helps in tracking users for their browsing habits, which would help in providing targeted and precise advertising to the linked companies; BT, Virgin Media, and MySpace, have already penned the agreement with the company.

However, a company official stated that the company is in continuous dialogue with the ICO to dispel any sort of privacy fears, and it would also allow the users to ‘opt out’ from monitoring.

Meanwhile BT is expected to start it’s another trial of the service that is said to monitor browsing habits of more than 10,000 users; albeit, ICO has maintained that it would closely monitor the trial, and subsequently decide about the legality of the service.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.