[LINK] nick off Phorm
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jul 7 19:14:45 AEST 2009
stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
> With luck, Phorm will go broke. They developed deep packet inspection.
Eeek ... DPI is pretty ancient, much older than Phorm. It popped up as a
jargon de jure in the late 90s or early in the decade among firewall
But I would certainly hope that the business of mass user-snooping fails.
> Phorm stranded as BT and Carphone pull plug on online ‘spying’ technology
> by Elizabeth Judge 'The Times' July 7, 2009
> The future of Phorm, the developer of controversial internet "spying"
> technology (deep packet inspection) looked increasingly uncertain last
> night after Carphone Warehouse joined the list of big-name clients
> shunning the service.
> Shares in Phorm slid 40 per cent yesterday after BT pulled plans to use
> the service, which tracks internet users and sends specially tailored
> advertisements to their screens based on their personal tastes. The
> decision followed a barrage of attacks from privacy groups.
> After BT’s move, Charles Dunstone, head of Carphone Warehouse, said: "We
> were only going to do it if BT did it and if the whole industry was doing
> it. We were not interested enough to do it on our own."
> Virgin is also reluctant, meaning that Phorm, whose non-executives
> include Lord Lamont, the former Chancellor, has lost Britain’s three
> biggest internet groups, prompting analysts to question its future.
> (The Times Related Links: Wikipedia latest to reject Phorm technology)
> Dan Cryan, head of broadband at Screen Digest, the research and
> intelligence consultancy, said: "It is never a happy position to be in
> when a company potentially loses most of its customers before it has even
> had a full commercial launch."
> Phorm, which listed on the Alternative Investment Market in 2004, is one
> of a growing number of companies seeking to cash in on the trail of
> personal information that we leave behind on the internet.
> Its service is aimed at showing advertisements based on who is looking at
> a particular web page, rather than the content of the page itself. A car
> lover, therefore, could be presented with car adverts even if searching
> for flights.
> For internet service providers, it offered a potentially valuable new way
> of generating money from their subscribers. "Tailored" ads potentially
> reap 100 times more than traditional ads, according to some analysts.
> BT, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse’s TalkTalk had all signed up as
> partners in the service. Last year, however, Phorm came under fire when
> it emerged that BT had been conducting secret trials of its technology on
> 36,000 of its broadband customers.
> Privacy groups said that the system was intrusive and even Sir Tim
> Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, condemned it: "I feel it is
> very important that my internet service provider supplies internet to my
> house like the water company supplies water to my house — connectivity
> with no strings attached," he said.
> Phorm insists that users are stored as a "unique random number" rather
> than a name, that it does not gather personally identifiable information
> and it does not store IP addresses. It said yesterday that its British
> ambitions remained intact.
> The company is hoping that BT will rethink its decision. However, a
> recently published report from its broker had already identified the next
> six months as critical for the company and its investors, who ploughed
> £32 million into the group last year.
> Phorm, which last year made a $48 million pre-tax loss after running
> trials in the UK and South Korea, said that it was focusing on
> opportunities abroad. "In so doing, we have already minimised our
> dependency on the deployment by any single ISP or in any particular
> market," it said.
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> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
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