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April 17, 2009

Wikimedia joins anti-Phorm brigade

Foundation claims scanning is infringement on privacy

By Steve Evans

The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, has become the latest Internet company to ask vendor Phorm not to include its domains on the targeted ad venture.

In a letter to Phorm, posted on the Wikimedia blog, it formally asked to be excluded from the BT Webwise systems. The Foundation said it opted out as it considers, “The scanning and profiling of our visitors’ behaviour by a third party to be an infringement on their privacy.”

The move comes just days after online retailer Amazon also opted out of the service.

The Open Rights Group – which had asked a number of websites to opt out of the system – welcomed the move.

On its blog, executive director Jim Killock said: “We’d like to thank Wikipedia and Amazon for prioritising their users’ privacy and taking this stand. We hope Facebook, AOL, Bebo, MSN, Google and others can follow their lead.”

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