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EU Tells UK To Deal With Phorm. Or Else

The refusal of the various UK governmental departments and bodies to actually do something about Phorm is well documented. Nobody wants to investigate BT’s secret testing of the Phorm “product” because there is a body of work out there that says this testing was illegal. That would be a major nuisance and embarrassment to the government because one of its former ministers, Patricia Hewitt, is on the board of BT.

Coincidence that the government is loathe to investigate a large scale breach of the law? Coincidence that the concept of Phorm just happens to fit in with Gordon Brown’s “total control of your life” philosophy?

So it comes as good news as reported by The Register that

The European Commission has sent a message to the British government, and it reads something like this: “If you don’t deal with Phorm, we will.”

Earlier this month, according to Dow Jones, the European Union commissioner for information society and media sent a “pre-warning letter” to UK authorities, voicing her concern over Phorm, the behavioral ad targeter poised to track user activity on Britain’s three largest ISPs: BT, Carphone Warehouse, and Virgin Media.

Mentioning BT, there’s an interesting report on the BT AGM on Dephormation by Pete called BT AGM 2008 From The Inside.

Read it. It’s good stuff. BT’s directors now know (If they didn’t already) that there are issues surrounding Phorm and its “Webwise” technology.

Pete, I salute you for your efforts in making BT’s board squirm.

As one commenter on The Register’s report said

You know your government is f****d when the EU start having the moral high ground over you.

The UK government has had plenty of opportunity to do the right thing about Phorm and BT. They have failed. Informed customers (of which I am one) have the right to alert their representatives in government here and in Europe to this. We have done just that.

Now show some guts Gordon and do the right thing.

If you can.

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