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Old 20-03-2008, 12:43   #1503
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
Unphormed is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Hi all, newbie in the forum here but this has just got my dander up that I had to add my voice against these clowns. Forgive me if I'm posting already rehashed information (and for a long post!), but I thought you might like to see the mealy-mouthed response I have just received from Virgin in answer to my complaint about their jumping into bed with Phorm. Clearly they just don't get it and more importantly, don't care! Thanks for letting me vent...

Thank you for your e-mail dated 18 March 2008 expressing your concerns about the recent speculation linking your Internet usage with ?Open Internet Exchange? and Phorm.

We will soon be working with a company, Phorm, to provide some new online protection and enhancement features for our broadband customers.

Phorm is the company behind an innovative new system called Webwise.
Webwise helps give you a safer online experience by helping you avoid scam emails or websites, as well as making your online experience more relevant through advertising that matches your areas of interest.

Webwise has been designed from the ground up to protect our customers' privacy and anonymity. As the system only learns about topics of interest, it does this anonymously, ensuring their privacy is completely protected.
? Neither the web addresses, nor search terms they use are stored. They are purely matched to an advertising topic and then discarded.
? Webwise doesn't store their internet (IP) address or keep track of their browsing. The system or advertisers won't know who you are or the websites they've visited.
? No personally identifiable information such as email addresses, surnames, street addresses, or phone numbers are ever gathered.
? No sensitive or personal financial information, such as credit card numbers, login IDs, passwords or bank account numbers are ever gathered.

To reiterate, you won't be forced to use the system, and you will be given the choice to keep your internet experience exactly as it is now. As we get closer to launch we'll explain how this will work.
Webwise only replaces ads with more relevant ads, customers do not receive any more ads and certainly do not receive pop ups.

The customer?s privacy is totally protected, again to reiterate no personal information is collected and what we will track are search terms and URL`s visited, this information is not traceable back to the individual and is not kept or stored as unlike some other ad targeting technologies that already exist and utilise customer data. In addition, whole rafts of industry bodies and privacy experts have been engaged with regard to the implementation of ?Webwise?.

We will be as transparent and upfront with customers as we can; giving them every opportunity of not participating if that is what they want to do.

We are of course aware there are a number of `stories` being circulated, a lot of what is being touted is ill informed.

I hope this reassures over any concerns you may have and clarifies our position regarding this issue.

Please note if you reply directly to this e-mail your response will not be received.

Kind regards

Nathan Le Page
E-Contact Team
Virgin Media

complaintType : cust_services
complaintDetail : I have learned about your deeply misguided decision to sign up to Phorm. I find this a disgraceful abdication of your customers' right to privacy and request that you reconsider this policy with immediate effect. It is perfectly clear that the only beneficiaries to this are Phorm and Virgin Media, while the customers' privacy is blown open. Your disingenuous FAQs do nothing to alleviate the fact that you are cynically destroying a bond of trust between us and you. I am disgusted with your actions and will leave Virgin Media if you do not amend your policy.
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