Amazon says no to Phorm ad system

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Amazon says no to Phorm ad system

Amazon has stated that it will not participate in trials of the Phorm advertising system, after a privacy group called for retailers to opt out.

Phorm is seen as a controversial technology because of the way it gathers browsing information.

It has generated opposition from UK and European privacy watchdogs.

The Information Commissioner's Office has insisted that individuals should be allowed to opt in to the gathering of information, while the Open Rights Group wrote to a number of retailers last month requesting that they refuse to adopt the technology. Phorm is being used in the UK by BT, and is marketed as BT Webwise.

Amazon released a statement today announcing its intention to stay well away from the technology. "We have contacted Webwise requesting that we opt-out for all of our domains," the e-commerce giant said.

The Open Rights Group reacted positively to the news. "By choosing to block the contentious online advertising system from scanning its web pages, these firms have taken the positive choice to protect their users' privacy and their own brands," the organistion said.

"We expect more sites to block Webwise in the near future, and for internet service providers to drop plans to snoop on web users."

The European Commission announced yesterday that it was taking action against the UK government over its privacy and data protection laws, as well as telecoms firms that use Phorm without considering its privacy implications.

"We have been following the Phorm case for some time and have concluded that there are problems in the way the UK has implemented parts of EU rules on the confidentiality of communications," said EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding.

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