EC still not happy with Phorm

The European Commission has again written to the government for an explanation of UK authorities’ response to BT’s allegedly illegal secret trials of Phorm’s ISP adware system.

Brussels still wants answers after a September letter from the UK goverment failed to address legal issues surrounding past deployments of the technology, and didn’t provide details about how future rollouts will be regulated.

EU officials originally wrote to the UK at the end of June to find out why no action had been taken over the 2006 and 2007 trials, which were conducted in secret and without customer consent. The European Privacy and Electronic Communications directive demands that customers are given informed prior warning if their communications and data are intercepted or processed in any way.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) said the government believed that Phorm’s system could operate within the law in future if conditions for consent and anonymity were met. It did not tackle the interception and profiling of tens of thousands of BT customers’ web data that had already occurred.

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