[NetBehaviour] EU Commission moves against UK Government and Phorm.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Apr 20 14:36:40 CEST 2009

EU Commission moves against UK Government and Phorm.

The EU Commission has launched proceedings against the UK concerning 
Phorm, the intrusive behavioural advertising system. Campaigners, 
including Open Rights Group, have long argued Phorm is a gross invasion 
of internet users’ privacy because it illegally intercepts confidential 
material. Now that high-profile website operators are lining up to 
oppose Phorm, these proceedings seem to be the fatal blow for the system.

Following our call for intervention, the EU has implicitly recognised 
the system involves unlawful interception because it does not obtain 
permission from both the user and the website owner. The UK authorities 
consistently deny this claim, although its unclear precisely which part 
of Government is responsible for enforcing related legislation. 
Fortunately, the EU has also expressed concerns with procedure, which 
should ensure similar technologies receive proper scrutiny in future.


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