Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Internet Privacy

UK ISPs To Start Tracking Your Surfing To Serve You Ads 238

TechDirt has an interesting article about a UK-based company that is trying to work with ISPs to make use of user surfing data to serve targeted ads. "Late last year, we heard about a company that was trying to work with ISPs to make use of that data themselves to insert their own ads based on your surfing history -- and now we've got the first report of some big ISPs moving into this realm. Over in the UK three big ISPs, BT, Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media have announced plans to use your clickstream data to insert relevant ads as you surf through a new startup called Phorm."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

UK ISPs To Start Tracking Your Surfing To Serve You Ads

Comments Filter:
  • hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RMH101 ( 636144 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:36PM (#22469038)
    So it's bad when ISPs do this, but OK when Google does it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Presumably there's an alternative to Google search. Not so for some regional ISPs, where it's either them or dial-up.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BSAtHome ( 455370 )
        Use tor... Sure, it is slower, but it bypasses the ISP tracking.
        • Re:hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

          by STrinity ( 723872 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @08:26PM (#22469482) Homepage

          Use tor... Sure, it is slower, but it bypasses the ISP tracking.
          However the last node in the chain can see anything you do that isn't using HTTPS/SSL, and if anything you do gives away your identity, they can figure out who you are.

          Oh, and some of them may be run by governments and criminal organizations.
          • Or use relakks. Works good on a 100mbit connection. Sure, it costs 50 a year, but is worth when your isp tries to filter torrents (campus network).
      • by ATMD ( 986401 )
        Actually DSL competition is excellent in the UK. Cable, on the other hand - you're pretty much stuck with Virgin.

        Still, big ISPs starting to do this is a worrying trend...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by internewt ( 640704 )
          DSL competition is a fucking joke in the UK. Almost all the DSL services you can buy are still over BT's hardware, and BT charge other ISPs by the byte transferred: this means that unless you use an ISP that has their own kit in exchanges you will be playing by BTs rules. And even those ISPs that do have their own kit in exchanges barely undercut BT because charging/byte is very profitable.

          I should think there are a few towns in the UK that maybe do have some real competition and inturn good fast 'net acces
          • But even outside of London, you can get Be Broadband.

            Owned by 02, so not some fly by night, unlimited 24Mbps (max).

            I get 12-17, depending on whether BT are screwing with my line. Give them a try.
          • by julesh ( 229690 )
            DSL competition is a fucking joke in the UK. Almost all the DSL services you can buy are still over BT's hardware, and BT charge other ISPs by the byte transferred.

            I'm not sure what your information source on this is, but AFAICT it is simply not true. See here [ofcom.org.uk] for pricing information for BT IPStream as of November 2006. Unless this charge is new, there is no per-byte charge.
      • by julesh ( 229690 )
        Presumably there's an alternative to Google search. Not so for some regional ISPs, where it's either them or dial-up.

        This is simply not the case in the UK. Anywhere you can get service from any of these 3 big names, there are tens of other ISPs who can provide a service as good (if not actually better).
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by N7DR ( 536428 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:41PM (#22469104) Homepage
      So it's bad when ISPs do this, but OK when Google does it?

      Yes. It's part of the data returned by Google. The ISP has to snoop the data stream and insert its own traffic into it.

      ISPs should be forbidden from altering the data stream unless they own the content that's being transferred.

      • Re:hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

        by corsec67 ( 627446 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:54PM (#22469228) Homepage Journal
        Wouldn't copyright law already cover that?

        You can't take a copy of my website, insert a little bit, and then serve that. Couldn't google sue any ISP that alters their pages in any way?
        • Re:hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:13PM (#22469914)

          No, I don't think so. Transparently altering data is permissible according to RFC 2616 (the HTTP specification) unless you include the Cache-Control: no-transform header, which virtually nobody has ever heard of. Thus, if intermediate alteration is part of the protocol you are using and you haven't availed yourself of the opportunity to deny that action, it can be argued that the permission is implicitly granted, just the same way it's implicitly granted that they can cache it at all.

          • ...until now (Score:4, Insightful)

            by phorm ( 591458 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @10:03PM (#22470370) Journal
            Methinks that if this becomes commonplace, then perhaps that little header bit might become a whole lot more popular.

            p.s. looks like those UK bastards stole my nick too...
          • Not quite! (Score:3, Interesting)

            by johannesg ( 664142 )
            Even if something is possible according to a protocol description, that still doesn't make it legal.

            A copyrighted work remains a copyrighted work, even if it is technically possible to violate that copyright (same as how a torrent of a new movie is not actually legal just because it is technically possible and in compliance with its own specification). Thus, an ISP still has no right to mangle those works for their own profit.

            Of course the answer is easy: use encrypted protocols, and nothing but encrypted p
        • God I hope not. Copyright law is absurd enough as it is. We don't need its interpretation extended to prohibit yet another technology based on its profoundly poorly defined limitations.
      • by pdbaby ( 609052 )

        It seems from the article that they're forming a new ad network which site operators can opt into, so they're not altering your requested page content... I really wish they were modifying existing ad content, though - that would be a nice way to kill this dead and establish some precedent against ISPs forging data (as if it should be needed!)

        They say there will be an opt-out feature but they'll try to discourage people by saying something about increased security or something. I know of one company name s

        • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

          by Jaseoldboss ( 650728 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @09:35AM (#22473942) Homepage Journal
          They're using cookies to track behaviour. OIX.net is the address you need to block by the looks of it. Link [webwise.com]

          I delete my cookies regularly, and I want to keep Webwise switched off. How do I do that?

          If you regularly delete your cookies and want to ensure that Webwise is permanently switched off, simply add [OIX.net] to the Blocked Cookies settings in your browser.
      • Re:hmm (Score:5, Informative)

        by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @08:54PM (#22469740)
        I can CHOOSE to use google to surf the net. There are many search engines. I can also use Tor to access Google anonymously if I'm paranoid.

        My ISP choices are limited, and I can't change them as fast as a search engine either. Plus once I click onto a site, google pretty much loose track where I am, especially if I block ads.

        ISP can know every place I go.

        Moreover, I don't pay google to use their service. I do pay an ISP. They have an revenue stream.

        So I think your analogy is flawed.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          I predict a large number of technically savvy people (a) creating new tunneling networks to allow for encrypted surfing to an Internet endpoint not controlled by traffic-sniffing ISPs, and (b) a large number of technically savvy people making use of the provisions described in (a). It could be as simple as buying a router with the functionality built in. Speaking of which, why hasn't anyone marketed such a device to consumers? While it might be expensive compared to "plain vanilla" home routers, it would ce
      • Re:hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:04PM (#22469836)

        ISPs should be forbidden from altering the data stream unless they own the content that's being transferred.

        IMHO, ISPs should be forbidden from even snooping on your data stream. They've no more business monitoring your on-line activities than the Royal Mail has opening all your letters.

        The data protection implications of this development are alarming, and frankly I don't care what some big accounting firm says about them. The day my ISP (which is not one of the three mentioned) says it will adopt a similar policy will be the day that I start the process of moving elsewhere, and I'd probably send a letter to the Information Commissioner expressing my concern as well.

        But hey, if the ISPs are spying on where I go and what I do (actually, they're legally required to record it anyway these days — another draconian privacy invasion, this time mandated by our terrorist-fearing government) and acting on the data they have, presumably that absolves them of any immunity they might otherwise have had when they supply files to copyright infringers, kiddie porn to sickos, and the like. May the money-grabbing lawsuits and company-killing PR sink them quickly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by delinear ( 991444 )
        More to the point it comes down to money. I "pay" Google for its service by viewing their ads. I pay for my ISP with money. I don't expect to have to pay them twice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NMagic ( 982573 )
      Yeah, most of your search pages already do logical banners. You search for something and they post up related products next to it. Hell, even most of your free webmail providers do it. As long as the ISP isn't dropping cookies on your box, I don't have too many problems with it... However, the one problem I see here comes when the ISPs start charging for bandwidth, and your browsing becomes as fast as using a 56k, due to the sheer amounts of tracking being done. Why should I have to pay for their ads?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pembo13 ( 770295 )
      Well the ISP is an internet provider. Google is as advertisement provider... I don't think they've ever been secretive about that fact.
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:57PM (#22469244)
      It's the difference between a company advertising to you when you call them (or trying to upsell, etc) and the phone company listening into your calls and breaking in when they have something to sell you. You're dealing with the company on the other side (google, in this case) as an equal. Your ISP holds a lot of power over you, and abusing it's wrong.
    • No, it's bad when Google does it, and anyone who is really concerned about privacy sends Google's cookies to the bitbucket and blocks the ads.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
        You know what the craziest thing about it all is. It is completely pointless matching the add to the user history. You match the add to the current content.

        Simple example; you search and check out notebook computers for a week and then buy one, not based upon any adds but upon reviews and user experiences, for the next month after you have bought the computer they pointlessly continue to send you new notebook adds.

        So you tie the add to the current content, to the web pages not to internet users. It is a

      • by CSMatt ( 1175471 )
        Not good enough. Google records the IP address that you use with the search terms.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dan541 ( 1032000 )
      Is there no Privacy act in the UK?

      Im surprised this is even legal.
    • Google is opt-in. It is extremely easy and completely free to use a different search engine.
      With ISPs thats not the case.

      I also highly doubt that the ads will be discrete.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by William-Ely ( 875237 )
      I don't pay Google to provide me with a service. If an ISP wants to inject ads into your browser they should at least give you a discount.
    • They don't do it to me, I have no script installed. Of course this wouldn't matter to the ISP.
  • ISPUK apparently (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:36PM (#22469040)
    does this not break privacy laws? for that matter, why can an ISP snoop on what you're doign when the government can not?
    • Re:ISPUK apparently (Score:5, Informative)

      by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:52PM (#22469202)

      does this not break privacy laws?

      I think so! Under my understanding of the UK Data Protection Act (IANAL), this would have to be an opt-in scheme via a tick box on the contract. It used to be opt-out but this was changed.

      Under the terms of the law an organization may not share personal data to another party without your consent. It's a pretty decent law, I don't know how the hell it got passed.

    • There are actually very few basic privacy laws in the UK; this is an increasing concern for many people, if media coverage is at all representative.

      And actually, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, everyone is already snooping on you. Most people just don't realise it.

      • > And actually, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, everyone is already snooping on you. Most people just don't realise it.

        Oh we realise it alright. We're just not legally allowed to tell you it's happening.

        /Posting safely from !UK.

  • by trolltalk.com ( 1108067 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:36PM (#22469042) Homepage Journal

    After all, if your ISP is serving you ads you don't want, they shouldn't be charging you the bandwidth used ...

    • don't you see! without serving these ads we would not have enough money to maintain the tubes! we may even need to raise prices without them... the simplist solution for them is to keep prices the same or even raise them and claim the prices would be higher without them. perhaps even offer a higher priced ad-free version of their services.
    • Yeah, but if we don't have the bandwidth excuse, how else are we going to justify AdBlock Plus?
  • by FireballX301 ( 766274 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:37PM (#22469058) Journal
    All you have to do is also lower prices, and you'll see how many 'citizens' are willing to sell their privacy.

    And it's interesting how three big ISPs banded together like this. It's almost like they're trying to shut out alternatives...
  • nice (Score:5, Funny)

    by R3N3G4D3 ( 1227590 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:39PM (#22469070)
    so now my family can enjoy the advertisements based on the porn I was watching earlier that week?
  • Porn ads? (Score:5, Funny)

    by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:39PM (#22469074)
    So if my wife starts getting a lot of ads for porn, do you think she'll put two and two together?
  • Reason Number (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Smordnys s'regrepsA ( 1160895 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:40PM (#22469092) Journal
    Just reason #86 to switch to Firefox with Adblock Plus (lets 86 those adds)!
    • How can adblock possibly work against this? If your ISP wants to, they can make those text ads appear inline with the text of the article, or make the image or flash look like it's coming from the site you're hitting instead of wherever it really came from. Adblock relies on knowing where the content came from in the first place, and if your ISP's lying to your browser, it's going to get harder by orders of magnitude.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by STrinity ( 723872 )
        Unless the ISP stores the ads in random directories with random names, it'll be possible to construct an Adblock filter for them. The bigger concern is that even if I block the ads, the ISP is still aggregating information about my surfing habits and distributing it to third parties.
  • Power corrupts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Statecraftsman ( 718862 ) * on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:42PM (#22469106) Homepage
    Please oh please, can we start working on an open source(wimax) router with two bands(backbone and local) so we can build our own huge mesh network and say buh-bye to ISPs forever? We don't need your email address, we don't need your antivirus software, we do not need your bills, and finally we don't need you messing with our connections. That is all.
    • Re:Power corrupts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:46PM (#22469146) Homepage

      Please oh please, can we start working on an open source(wimax) router with two bands(backbone and local)
      Hooold up there, buddy. Where exactly are you going to get the money to buy the spectrum you need for your precious WiMAX to work?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        We shouldn't need to purchase spectrum. We should purchase some lobbyists and maybe start some kind of calling campaign so the next useful chunk of spectrum will not be sold to the highest bidder. Instead it should be reserved like a national park for the public good...except instead of allowing us to enjoy the outdoors take hikes, collect our thoughts, this resource will grease the wheels of business, society and innovation.
      • Maybe the ISPs will shut down business, sell their assets, and buy the spectrum for us, if we ask very nicely?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wall0159 ( 881759 )
        Uhh... It's our spectrum - all we need to do is not sell it...

        (privitisation is not always automatically a good thing)
    • Re:Power corrupts (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @08:08PM (#22469338)
      This would work great inside urban sprawl, but you'll still need the telcos for rural and inter-continental stuff and that's where they will bite you in the ass. Unless of course you make enough money to lay your own trans-ocean cables.
  • by maillemaker ( 924053 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:42PM (#22469112)
    ...advertisements for KY Jelly skyrocket...
  • Mmm bad summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saikou ( 211301 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:46PM (#22469140) Homepage
    When people say "Insert relevant ads" it usually means ISP hacked the page you got from remote server and inserted and ad that wasn't there, or replaced one on the page with something else. Bad thing. Here, they organize new ad platform. Any site that uses it will be showing something Phorm servs up, and it, in turn, will try to figure out what to show by using ALL of your surfing history, no matter what sites you visit. So, if you go to golf sites A, B, C (that serve ads via yahoo, for example), and then to Phorm-using site M that has articles on electronics, site M will show you golf ads, due to your click-stream.

    Of course advertisers will be disappointed to find out, that many people actually use one connection for a household. So, while from the point of view of ISP user clicked Cooking A, Cooking B, Valentine's day, Heavy metal band, Banking, Myspace ... in reality it's 2-3-4 individual users. And showing wife an ad for a new heavy album won't make CTR go through the roof. And teenager might actually barf at the sight of the cooking ads.

    p.s. ISPs sell the data anyways, not usre how this opt-out would work...
  • Well I guess it's pretty obvious what type of ads they expect to be serving up.
  • by QX-Mat ( 460729 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:47PM (#22469162)
    Privacy, Art 8 and 10 aside, its actually very very illegal contractually. No doubt they will find a way of avoiding the contractual obligations through a shrink wrap, but there are issues here with the laws of confidence, the duty of care bestowed on the ISP etc. Not to mention cartel practice.

    No no no no. This is BAD captialism. Stop. Think. Or I will sue.
    • by pdbaby ( 609052 )

      This is BAD captialism

      Then we should fight it the only way an advertiser will understand - by making the return on investment approach 0 for advertisers

      We write an agent that sits on peoples machines. It browses around google search results for various advertiser-happy keywords in the background. Immediately their database gets very noisy and their click-through ratio drops.

      Of course, if these companies had a flag to let me say 'don't bother with the ads, I use AdBlock' we could both save ourselves so

      • Yep, advertising doesn't work if almost everyone ignores it. That's why I get so little spam these days.

        The sad thing is, they don't need much of a click-through rate to "justify" this sort of intrusion. There's very little marginal cost to them for operating the system, and even if only 1 in 1,000 people is a sucker, that's still a lot of suckers when you multiply the proportion by the size of the web-browsing population.

  • I suppose an ISP has a right to do this sort of thing (unless, of course, they have contracted with you not to do it)

    I'd imagine some ISP's will respond by offering Ad-Free internet service. Wouldn't this kinda fall under competition, then? Stupid for those ISP's, perhaps, but hey, stupidity can be nice for the consumer now and then.

  • When I think of getting served, my mind's eye conjures images of roast beef dinners and roving gangs of street dancers. "Serving you ads" makes it sound like they're providing a valuable service when in fact they are wasting our time.

    We need a more user-centric term that better describes the process of having ads jammed in our faces at every possible opportunity. "Buggering you ads" or something along those lines.

    Furthermore, the users pay for the ISP's infrastructure, right? Should the ISP be allowed to
  • Anytime i am presented with a intrusive ad, i do my best to never do business what that company again. And i often let them know.
  • I should be able to choose between internet service I pay for, or
    free internet service with ads from the ISP.

    As long as it's my choice I'm happy with that.
    Of course if they try to have their cake and eat it too,
    my cake actually, I'll be the first in line to collaborate
    with my electrical engineer friends to engineer that pirate
    wi-max network in our city which hooks in in an informal basis
    to everyone elses' open wi-fis for its net connectivity.

    Oh you haven't heard of that one? It's all good.
  • I can has SSL? (Score:3, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @07:59PM (#22469262) Journal
    Wow. It's almost like they want to see SSL used absolutely everywhere. Have they considered the fact that, once website operators feel the need to switch to HTTPS to keep other people's ads off of their pages, they won't even be able to sell clickstream data anymore? (Not that I mind, of course. I really hate to see ISPs doing things like this; but if it drives greater adoption of crypto, it isn't all bad.)

    In broader terms, though, this sort of thing is a (minor) example of what is really a huge problem. The internet is the biggest, newest, most disruptive medium in quite some time. But it flows over pipes largely controlled by people who would be much happier if it had never existed. That is a dangerous state of affairs. We need to exterminate the cable and telco guys, with their dreams of the old days when the endpoints were dumb and the network was all powerful, and get some new people who understand that internet access is a basic, cheap, boring commodity like cement or potatoes. It is occurrences like those above that make me seriously consider the idea of having municipal data pipes, just as we have municipal water pipes.
    • by CSMatt ( 1175471 )
      If we have municipal data pipes, then it will be the government who is monitoring us instead of the ISPs.

      Not that they don't already, but it would be much easier for them to monitor this way.
  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @08:04PM (#22469304)
    So how come it's not okay for the phone company to barge into a voice communication in the middle of a conversation I am having with someone in order to tell me of the sale at my local shopping mall and the low low prices on mattresses, but when it's DATA they feel they have the right to alter the communication between myself and the party I am communicating with?

    Plus are the websites going to be compensated for their loss? Because presumably if the visitor is reading a 3rd party ad instead of the ads on the website, the value of the ad space on said website is diminished.
  • How much would this ISP pay me if I would use their service.

    I already stopped using TV since they did not offer me enough to watch their ads.

    Hope this attitude will change soon.

  • Disgusting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scoot80 ( 1017822 )
    These people should be castrated. ISPs should not be inserting ads in your webpages - we pay them for a service, one that has not been altered in any way. If we choose to go to a site with ads, or one without, it is up to us, but your own ISP inserting ads is taking it way too far.
  • Like what percentage of their users get n or more ads for "Find Hot Singles in your area!" or "Find a Fuck Buddy in your area!"

    I hope you lot read the terms of agreement when you signed up for your internet service.
  • This will end up being a real problem. For one thing, what about multiple users of the same computer? Families, for instance might see ads for dad's naughty websites and junior's latest goth-band ads at the wrong time.

    And how exactly do they plan to serve these ads? Are they going to use pop-ups, page frames, or something like that? Won't that interfere if these ISP ads are competing with Google? Google will put up a big fight for sure...and they'll win.

    People will complain about this ad onslaught, an
  • "...trying to work with ISPs to make use of that data themselves to insert their own ads based on your surfing history."

    Am I to take it that this means Virgin Media will be injecting Ads into Slashdot (for instance)? Apart from the obvious privacy issues, unless their algorithm is extremely clever, surly this is going to break a lot of pages?

    I WILL switch ISPs if this happens, I don't like the privacy implications, and I don't like interference.

    I don't like the fact that ISP keep pushing the line further an
  • Wait a minute... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ricebowl ( 999467 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:00PM (#22469804)

    UK ISPs To Start Tracking Your Surfing To Serve You Ads...

    I could've sworn we had a story recently in which ISPs were resistant to monitoring users [slashdot.org]; what happened..?

    Oh! That's right; they were resisting legislative impetus to monitor traffic, but now they have a financial impetus. Tch; if only the government had thought through the remuneration aspect...

  • ISP's who do this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @09:08PM (#22469876)
    May open the door to being sued. When they choose what can come through then they will be under obligation to stop thing like child pron, XXX to minors, BiTorrent downloads...

    What gives them the right to choose?
  • Ok, so how can we make this of no value to anyone? My first thought would be some kind of client that sends fake 'clicks', ignoring the results, just to clog up the clickstream with a massive amount of extraneous data. There's a Firefox extension that does this for Google...I used it for a week about a year ago and my Web History trends are still bizarre.

    Better still, if we can find some way to create associations, so the ad-serving software thinks that porn and booze ads are good choices to serve up to v
  • Adblock now easy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @12:17AM (#22471294)
    Cool, this can only make Adblocking easier since all ads will appear to come from the same place.
  • by nguy ( 1207026 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @01:06AM (#22471592)
    Not only does your ISP record your surfing data and keeps it around to give to the police, he sells it to other companies, too.
  • They are opening themselves up to lawsuits involving Data protection, Copyright infringement, Libel ... Then imagine when they break the functionality of a site ( yes "when" not "if" ) that will be a hefty lawsuit right there. Then there is the issue of them incriminating themselves by demonstrating that they can alter the data they serve users, legal responsibility with regards to the ads accuracy etc... Somebody somewhere got greedy and decided to look for money inside the can of worms. This ought to be "
  • Phorm (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fluoxetine Freak ( 943931 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @09:02AM (#22473704)
    From Phorm's [phorm.com] website:

    "With OIX and Webwise, consumers are in control: they can switch relevance 'off' or 'on' at any time at Webwise.com. There's no small print and no catches: it's completely up to the consumer."

    In the comments on the Techdirt article [techdirt.com] somebody is saying that Phorm are the latest incarnation of 121media which made the contextplus rootkit. A quick search later and indeed they are the same company [121media.com].

    Anybody got any more dirt on them?

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard