The European Commission (EC) has warned of some formal action against the UK government, which it says hasn’t provided the EC with the information required in its probe into Phorm’s targeted advertising technology.
The Commission notified the government on Thursday that its response to the probe hasn’t been up to the mark so far, as the watchdog sent three letters urging necessary information from the UK authorities, but hasn’t received satisfactory answers, noted Martin Selmayr, spokesman to EU’s Information Commissioner Viviane Reding.
Commission is said to be waiting for a constructive response for the third letter to the government, which was sent at the end of January, and the discussions regarding the launch of the advertising system are still on, Selamyr added.
Warning the UK government over inadequate response to EC’s letters, Selmayr said in a statement, “The Commission may have to proceed to formal action if the UK authorities do not provide a satisfactory response to the Commission’s concerns on the implementation of European law in the context of the Phorm case”.
The probe has asked the government a number of questions to ascertain that if the trials conducted by BT of Phorm’s behavioural advertising technology across its networks were legal or not.
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As we wrote before, BT is already planning to implement Phorm before the end of 2009 with or without EU's or the government approval. The European commission's threat to the UK Government is, some would probably say, academic at this stage. Telecommunications companies need money now and Phorm is certainly one way of bringing in revenues quickly.