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UK Government Replies to E.U. over Phorm

     
5:55 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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UK Government Replies to [news.bbc.co.uk]E.U. over Phorm
The government has outlined how a controversial online ad system can be rolled out in the UK.

In response to EU questions about its legality, it said that it was happy Phorm conformed to EU data laws.

But any future deployments of the system must be done with consent and make it easy for people to opt out.

Earlier stories

EU Wants Response From UK Over Phorm Ad System [webmasterworld.com]

3:44 am on Sept 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Gee... maybe having people opt in? Who would of "thunk" of that. Think I'll go patent that idea.
11:14 am on Sept 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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They are happy with this?

With all the protests, how could they come to such a conclusion?

You gotta be joking. Idiots.

11:21 am on Sept 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There is one thing I still don't get.

Will ads show on my website even if I don't want them to?

I mean would I need to add code into my website like the way Adsense works for ads to be displayed?

1:49 pm on Sept 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From previous postings here and elsewhere I thought that it just hijacked your adsense replacing the content with it's own.

I may be wrong.

3:30 pm on Sept 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From my understanding: publishers WILL NOT, I repeat, will not, have control of if Phorm ads will show on their pages or not.

This is, in my opinion, pure copyrights infringement, and should be illegal.

Unfortunately, it seems like the EU commission was more concerned about consumer's privacy (a noble concern) but did not consider the other players in the equation, the publishers.

We have only 2 solutions:
1) Hope that a big publisher on online content (Yahoo, Microsoft) will fight this thievery of their content by a 3rd party.
2) Some hacker here or elsewhere writes a JS script that blocks/prevents Phorm from working with their site and makes it freely available.

Lets keep the struggle alive here.

4:01 pm on Sept 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There's a Dephormation add-on for Mozilla Firefox. Been available for many months.
5:13 pm on Sept 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand why this keeps going on....

This is not an issue for webmasters at this time, if anything its good if you want to look at it from another perspective. Ads from Phorm will be shown on your site only if you are participating in the program. The ISP collects the data from the user, if you are participant in Phorm's ad program you can show ads on your site. Instead of being based on the content of your site the user can get served with ads based on their browsing habit.

As for the user its a huge privacy concern.

There was only two things that were brought up by someone else with this system IMO that should make a webmaster concerned. Your content is being used by the ISP to produce a profile for the people that visit your site and you're not being compensated for it. The other and more important issue IMO was they could analyze content that was behind logins not available to the public.

There is only one instance that I'm aware of that was absolutely confirmed where ads were injected by an ISP into content that was confirmed. This happened in Texas when an ISP "accidentally" turned it on for a few days. They were using the Nebuad system which is about the same thing as Phorm. There was another thread on here where it was suspected that they did it for very short time with Phorm but I don't know if that was absolutely confirmed.

IF they start injecting ads then there's an issue as far as I'm concerned. I've said it before, I'll block any and all ISP's that inject ads. I don't care if I have to go down with the ship doing it either. No hacks, no messing around. Simple redirect to a page with a big giant arrow pointing to the ad stating this ad is served by your ISP therefore you cannot view this page.