Ads Behaving Badly

It came as no surprise to us today when the European Union (EU) announced that they were taking the UK to task over what appears to be a blatant disregard for privacy.

We had commented on this story before and it was really no surprise when BT continued to expand the mandate of Phorm after it’s clandestine trials. The press has jumped on this with both feet. You can read the article penned by Richard Wray of the Guardian titled Phorm: UK faces court for failing to enforce EU privacy laws. The EU has rigid privacy rules when it comes to telecom. The rules require;

…member states to ensure confidentiality of the communications and related traffic data by prohibiting unlawful interception and surveillance unless the users concerned have consented, while the EU data protection directive specifies that user consent must be “freely given, specific and informed.

While the final behavioral ads are not active (as far as anyone knows) it seems that the EU has had enough of the polite letter exchange with the UK authorities and has received enough data to raise the flag of concern.

We laughed in 2002 when in Minority Report the fictional retail world portrayed was able to target individual users at the point of sale. Seven years later we are laughing less and growing more concerned now that we are being seen as mules for more and more advertising spam. Telecom is an industry that sees more personal data than most and it seems bent on harvesting all it can from the carriage of that data.

What do you think about the increasing targetted ads based upon your private data?

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