European Commission To Investigate Virgin Media's CView Monitoring System

In its response to a complaint from Privacy International, the European Commission has decided to keep a close watch on Virgin Media’s contentious internet traffic monitoring system.

The traffic monitoring tool, dubbed as “CView” and developed by Detica, has been tailored to scan 40 percent of the traffic to evaluate the extent of piracy that takes place across the company’s networks.

The EC is expected to watch over the system to see if it violates any privacy rules, and discussing the same, a Commission’s spokesperson told ZDNet: “The Commission's services will closely monitor this case”.

Incidentally, Privacy International has also presented the issue of the UK Government’s alleged involvement in the privacy breach by allowing BT to proceed with trials of the behavioural advertising technology developed by Phorm.

However, a spokesperson for Virgin Media asserted that the company has already been in discussions with the EC to make sure that everything would go as per the regulations.

Along the same line, the company stated: “We’ve engaged with all the relevant bodies, including Ofcom, the ICO and the EC, to ensure they have the information they need to make an informed judgement about our planned trial”.

It further went on to say that the CView technology simply evaluates the traffic anonymously, and it has nothing to do with storing users’ data unlike Phorm.

Our Comments

Anything that even remotely touches individual privacy has the potential to become a legal landmine. Virgin Media knows it all too well after seeing what happened to BT. There's also a more pertinent reason as to why would Virgin Media try to find out the extent of Piracy on its network.

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