March 17, 2008 at 9:06 am | Posted in Economoney, Internet | 1 Comment

A bit ago, I commented about Facebook’s desire to use Beacon, a product that would track your usage not only in Facebook but in other participating sites like eBay (there was quite a few). There was a considerable backlash. A good thing, considering Facebooks agenda.

In this BBC article, the fellow who designed the WWW comments on a new product called “Phorm” that is being marketed to ISP’s. The idea is that your on ramp to the Internet would track all of your usage, ostensibly to give you targeted advertising or help you avoid phishing sites. (SiteAdvisor is better for that and you control it)

Trouble is, this gets into tricky territory around privacy and consequences. What happens if a friend sends you a link to a less than desirable site. Or you misspell a URL and get one of those cybersquatter sites. You may then be sent lots of web ads for similar things. And you’re now on record as having visited there.

Theres some big names on board for Phorm, like Virgin. They’re not sure if they’ll make it opt in…


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  1. This is making a stink. Here’s a site devoted to the issue that describes it in more detail:


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