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BBC’s Flawed Phorm Report

It’s hardly a surprise that the BBC doesn’t quite tell the full story about Phorm in its reporting.  Here’s a screengrab.

The BBC's flawed report on Amazon's Phorm opt-out
The BBC's flawed report on Amazon's Phorm opt-out

It seems that I’m going to have to correct Darren Waters on his report.

“An ongoing political debate”?  What utter garbage.  There is an ongoing LEGAL debate which just happens to involve the Eurpoean Commission taking legal action against the UK government.  The debate isn’t just political Darren, it’s about matters of law.  That makes it a legal debate.  Just as people like Alexander Hanff, Dr Richard Clayton, myself and others have been arguing for over a year now.  Many of us believe that Phorm’s Webwise product is illegal.  I don’t see any mention in your report of the questionable legal status of Webwise.

Your paragraph starting “Phorm has conducted trials with BT” is misleading.  Phorm first conducted SECRET trials with BT WITHOUT USERS’ INFORMED CONSENT and then conducted further trials with BT afterwards.  The secret trials only came to light thanks to excellent investigative journalism by Chris Williams at The Register.  Your readers deserve to know the full truth of what Phorm has been doing with BT.

That is why the European Commission is taking legal action against the UK “government” – the UK “government” failed to properly investigate the whole Phorm and BT issue.  Commissioner Vivian Reding agrees that there is a case to answer and the BT, Phorm and the UK “government” must be made to answer for their behaviour.

And of course there’s no mention of where the story broke.

I’m thankful that there are other technology websites out there that offer better reporting.

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