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Information Commissioner is on Phorm

Well lookee here. Just four days after publishing a considered opinion on the highly controversial web/ad/monitoring/trialling tech company Phorm - an opinion seen by many as a "green light for lawbreaking" - the Information Commissioner's Office has published a new and markedly different take on the matter.
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Written by David Meyer on

Well lookee here. Just four days after publishing a considered opinion on the highly controversial web/ad/monitoring/trialling tech company Phorm - an opinion seen by many as a "green light for lawbreaking" - the Information Commissioner's Office has published a new and markedly different take on the matter.

It's a long statement, but the juicy bit is this:

Phorm products will have to operate on an opt in basis to use traffic data as part of the process of returning relevant targeted marketing to internet users.

Whether or not the Phorm products are a concern for the Commissioner will depend on the extent to which the assurances Phorm has provided so far are true. The Commissioner has no reason to doubt the information provided by Phorm but some technical experts have publicly expressed concerns. The Commissioner welcomes the efforts Phorm is making to engage with concerned technical experts and believes that it is only by allowing its technology to be subject to detailed scrutiny by independent technical experts that it will be able to prove their assertions regarding privacy which will be important for the commercial success of the product.

Now that's more like it! Giving someone a chance when they give their word is one thing, but sometimes healthy skepticism needs to be fully vocalised by those who matter.

Tentatively, I say "trial away". I mean, don't trial it on me, but I'm sure there are some willing guinea pigs out there... no?

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