Europe Says UK Wrong In Declaring Phorm Legal

The European Commission has told Britain to change its laws, after concluding it incorrectly applied European rules in allowing the go-ahead of controversial behavioural ad targeter Phorm, which will monitor an ISP customer’s every web click to better target ads on partner websites.

The EC’s complaint (see statement) seems to disagree with the Home Office’s interpretation of what constitutes “intentional” interception of communications traffic – something allowed under UK law. The commission lodged an “infringement proceeding” on Tuesday, giving the UK two months to respond – if not satisfied, it could publish an “opinion” on the matter (more serious, but so far quite toothless) and finally could file suit in the European Court of Justice.

EC telecoms and media commissioner Viviane Reding said the UK had not properly implemented Europe’s 2002 ePrivacy Directive:


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