The European Commission warned yesterday that it will initiate legal procedures to prevent the use of Phorm technology in the United Kingdom. The user behavior control service was tested on British Telecom’s broadband network without users’ consent and Amazon is now the first company to guarantee that it blocks this technology from accessing its website.
The European Commission’s action followed complaints from users after Phorm was considered to violate users’ privacy, as it intercepts data without their clear consent.
Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for the Information Society, says that the European Commission has been following the «Phorm case» for some time and concluded that «there are problems in the way the UK has implemented parts of EU communications confidentiality laws» .
The controversy has already alerted many companies and users and Amazon was among the first to ensure that it does not allow the system to analyze its pages to produce advertisements focused on users’ interests, writes the BBC.
The Open Rights Group has been advocating that major sites block Phorm access and last month sent letters to privacy officials on Amazon, eBay, Microsoft, Google and YouTube, Facebook and Yahoo, among others, asking them to take action .