As the election campaigning continues, there are some people who need setting straight on Labour’s failures over the Phorm case. It’s not rocket science. It is not a matter of “intervening in private business” as some would suggest. It is a matter of enforcing the law.
Correct me if I’m wrong but if the law is broken then action must be taken against the lawbreaker. The status of the business or persons involved is irrelevant. Legality isn’t an emotive issue, it is one of fact. So here are a few facts and a few questions for Labour and its supporters.
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Privacy International have today issued an official statement detailing their views on Deep Packet Inspection, the privacy threatening technology employed by companies like Phorm. It’s well worth reading.
Here are a couple of snippets, emphasis is mine.
Privacy International believes that online behavioural targeting for online commercial advertising using the technology of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is a dangerous and potentially unlawful technique that is fraught with unethical practice. This industry extends across multiple models and strategies including the use of Deep Packet Inspection, Flash Cookies, Tracking Cookies and other emerging technologies…
Governments need to legislate in a way that protects the rights of the general public. From any ethical standpoint such interception of web traffic must be conditional on the basis of explicit and informed consent.
Then goes on to say
Legal protections with regard to these technologies must be enforced. Where organisations can be shown to have acted unlawfully action must be taken. The lack of action against BT Group in the UK with regard to covert trials of Deep Packet Inspection must never be repeated. Corporations which act unlawfully must be prosecuted.
And then goes on to say that NoDPI campaigner Alexander Hanff has now joined Privacy International and will be heading up PI’s work in this area.
Congratulations to Alex on his joining PI. It is a recognition of his campaigning work in the face of spin, obfuscation, unwarranted legal threats and slating from the likes of Phorm.
We’re not just anti-Phorm, we’re against any illegal use of DPI which threatens individuals’ privacy. Phorm just happen to have tried to make claims, use PR and promote themselves more than others. If you’re peddling DPI then you’re on our radar. So it isn’t personal against Kent Ertugrul. It’s a matter of law.