BT to go ahead with Phorm ad-server deployment

BT expects to deploy the controversial Phorm advertisement-serving technology following a "brief" period of analysis

BT expects to deploy the controversial Phorm advertisement-serving technology following a "brief" period of analysis of the results of its third trial.

Phorm said today, "Following the successful completion of analysis, both of the trial results and of any changes required for expansion, BT has informed the company that it expects to move towards deployment."

It declined to say how many users volunteered for the trial, but said "small numbers" of advertisements had been served.

Earlier, privacy advocates objected when BT tested the Phorm technology secretly on its user base. They said the technology infringed their privacy rights be storing information about their likes and dislikes as revealed in their web-surfing activities.

Phorm defended itself at an unprecedented public "town hall meeting". Later, in a response to an enquiry from the European Commission, it won support from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Information Commission under tight conditions.

Among these conditions were that BT customers must make a conscious effort to "opt in" to have their details tracked and the pages they view associated with advertisements served by Phorm. Phorm had also to ensure that it would be unable to identify individuals from their surfing history.

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