Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Privacy Pirates

Hysterical new site online today from Phorm, a corporation behaving like a small child in a playground calling people names. The people they're calling names include the Open Rights Group, Alexander “The Angry Activist” Hanff and, well, have a look yourself here... phoolish anti-anti-Phorm site.

I don't have time to have the full rant I'd like to have here, but how a company that gathered information about individuals' web activity without getting their permission can call those complaining about it 'privacy pirates' is incomprehensible to me.

There was some research done recently* which showed that you could identify a large number of people from their surfing habits and searches; you don't need their IP address or other standard personally identifiable information, you just need to know that the web sites were visited and searches were performed by one individual. Think about what you search for and where you go online... do they give hints about who you are? I'll put my hand up here and say I Google my own name (both real and online pseudonymns) and look for information about local events and shops and a ton of other stuff that could tell you alot about me. Tie that together with a Facebook or similar profile and you're away...

Anyhow, more reasoned pieces will appear elsewhere I'm sure but in the meantime have some related links...

EC starts legal action over Phorm
Home Office 'colluded with Phorm'
Phorm: Does its stroppy campaign site signal the beginning of the end?
Phorm chief labels critics 'serial agitators'
What the Open Rights Group have to say about Phorm.

* reference will follow when I can find the thing, sorry!**

** Found it. De-anonymizing Social Networks. There's a news report about it at the BBC too.

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?