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April 15, 2009

Amazon says no to Phorm

Another blow for controversial targeted ad tech

By Steve Evans

Online retailer Amazon has said it will not use Phorm’s targeted advertising technology, called Webwise, on its site.

The announcement – confirmed by an Amazon spokesperson – is another blow to Phorm, which is the subject of legal action from the European Union over an alleged breach of EU data protection laws by the UK government. BT carried out a trial of the system in 2006 without informing its users.

Phorm’s technology enables ISPs to track websites visited by users and then offer adverts that are more targeted to their tastes.

However, campaigners have claimed the technology is an invasion of privacy and the Open Rights Group recently wrote to a number of the largest Internet sites, including Amazon, asking them to opt out of the scheme.

Amazon said in a statement: “We have contacted Webwise requesting that we opt out for all of our domains.”

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