Phorm is the system where advertisers can track internet use for the purposes of directing targeted promotional messages:

“…But any future deployments of the system must be done with consent and make it easy for people to opt out.

The European Union had demanded clarification about the system which tracks web habits in order to provide better targeted ads.”

link: UK government responds on Phorm

The priorities of these guidelines appear to be backward. Phorm is a system that intrudes on the internet user’s privacy, with possible security implications. To initiate the system with an “opt out” provision means that people have to be proactive and remove themselves from being served target advertising. The optimal way for participation would be to allow people to “opt in” – and allow the default be that not every user can be possibly tracked. The “opt in” system has an obvious flaw. It does not allow for those who want to track internet use to maximize their financial gain.

Catherine Forsythe