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Orange will not use Phorm, Says Privacy is in its DNA

Broadband service provider Orange is not going to use controversial tracking technology from Phorm (at least not for now) because it values the privacy of its customers according to Paul-François Fournier, the senior vice-president of Orange’s online advertising division.

In a brief interview (opens in new tab) to the Financial Times, Mr Fourier said that the France Telecom owned company considers that Phorm does not provide with a clear message when it comes to collecting customers' data, adding "that Privacy is in our DNA, so we need to be honest and clear about what we are doing."

But he stopped short of saying that Orange (or Indeed France Telecom) will not use an toned-down version of Phorm or indeed any other provider of targeted advertising.

Broadband providers have had to resort to getting alternative revenue sources to improve their profitability and their competitiveness.

In addition, advertisers are looking for ways to maximise their investment and can no longer afford to display adverts that have cannot be targeted to some degree.

BT has already started trialling Phorm and it is no secret that other major service providers like Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse are also considering implementing this scheme.

Interestingly, BT's version of Phorm, called Webwise, is being presented as a service to help web users stay safe.

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.