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.