Open Rights Group urges boycott of Phorm

The Open Rights Group has warned seven UK online companies to boycott the use of Phorm’s technology.

The privacy lobbyist has sent an open letter to Google/YouTube, Microsoft, Facebook, AOL/Bebo, Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay, urging them not to deploy Phorm’s technology, which tracks consumers’ habits as they surf the internet to serve them more relevant advertising.

The ISP-based behavioural targeting firm, along with most of the companies the Open Rights Group have contacted, has worked with the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to issue best practice guidelines and consumer education for behavioural targeting (nma 05 March).

The letter said, “We are asking you to exercise your ability to opt out of the Phorm system, that’s planned to be rolled out in the near future under the Webwise brand by BT, Virgin and TalkTalk, the three largest UK ISPs.

“We therefore strongly urge you to exercise your ability to opt out as soon as possible, and declare publicly to us and to your customers that data sent to and from your website will not be snooped upon by the Phorm/Webwise system,” it added.

It also highlighted that more than 21,000 members of the public have signed a petition against Phorm’s deployment.

It comes soon after worldwide web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee said internet users’ data should not be collected by internet companies and commercial operations ( 12 March)..

This story first appeared on

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