UK Officials Accused Of Colluding With Phorm

from the that-would-not-be-good dept

While the US quickly condemned clickstream tracking as a likely violation of privacy, many were quite surprised when UK officials went in the other direction, suggesting that Phorm's tracking was legal. The European Commission was so annoyed by this that it's taking legal action against the UK for privacy violations. But, still, many people are wondering why the UK government said something like Phorm was legal... and now accusations are coming out that it's because UK government officials let Phorm take part in writing the policy. There are a bunch of incriminating emails between the Home Office and Phorm, including one where officials ask Phorm execs if they would be "comforted" by the position the gov't was about to take. In another, the officials ask Phorm to review the document and give feedback, prior to the gov't releasing the actual policy. Talk about regulatory capture... The government, for its part, claims that people are misreading the emails, but it's difficult to see how the emails can be misread when they blatantly ask Phorm to review the document, and inquire whether the company and its partners will be comforted by the ruling.

Update: On top of this, it appears that Phorm is now lashing out at critics, claiming that they're "smear merchants" and "privacy pirates." That sounds convincing...
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Filed Under: behavioral advertising, collusion, privcy
Companies: phorm

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  1. identicon
    joshua jones, 29 Apr 2009 @ 1:19am

    privacy pirates

    What does the term "privacy pirates" even mean? Do they mean that in the copyright sense? Not sure you can pirate another person's privacy.. Or maybe they mean it in the sense that the critics are attacking their ships at sea. Privately.

    Has the term "pirate" simply come to be that readily used as an attack on a person's legitimacy, such that the actual meaning of the word holds no signifigance? Sad.

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