The links to the dirt are below but here’s the points in review:
- Former spyware company 121media (now called Phorm) sets up a targeted advertisement network. Nothing to see here, please move along. Until…
- Afformentioned spyware company persuades 3 major ISPs (BT, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse) that they are legit, and that they should sell their subscribers’ browsing logs to them, in return for which the ISPs can then…
- Inject highly targeted adverts into any website which has signed up to be in the advertising network, and get a share of the profit.
- Oh and all of this is on an opt out basis, and the first any subscribers hear about it is on some tech blog. I’m with Virgin Media and haven’t heard anything yet.
So, just in case they weren’t making quite enough money already, they are now selling your private browsing history (supposedly anonymised but we all remember the AOL fiasco) of all the sites you visit (not just those in the network) in order to inject adverts into sites in the network which are targeted using your information which they have sold without asking you, and earn yet more cash.
Yay for privacy!
I’m pretty certain the ISPs will at least need to send out some revised terms and conditions to make this legal, but no one I know hasn’t received anything yet. They’ll probably disguise it as a “routine clarification” anyway. That they are allowed to do this, especially on an opt-out basis, is pretty sickening to me.
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