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Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]
View Poll Results: Will you be opting out of the Virgin Ad Deal?
Yes, Definitely. 958 95.51%
No, I am quite happy to share my surfing habits with anyone. 45 4.49%
Voters: 1003. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21-02-2008, 19:10   #166
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

If everyone installs a good ad blocker then no ads will get through to anyone, end result no revenue generated. Perhaps VM will heed the message & drop this stupid idea. Better still a switched on VM manager read this thread, then use the grey matter & stop the ad deal being implemented.
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Old 21-02-2008, 19:20   #167
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

i have cookies blocked on the kids computers wonders if virgin would be allowed to track the on-line habits of minors and sell them on ?

this cookie on my computer thing seemed laughable to me if i tell them i don't want to take part it should be up to them to store it on their system

next the TPS will be saying we need dongles on phones to make sure we want to opt out
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Old 21-02-2008, 20:23   #168
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Ok i havn't read all the pages (was losing the will to live) so excuse me if this has been mentioned. i used to work for a market research company the monetary value of this type of information is massive. If VM do this they should reduce the cost to all subscribers to take account of the large amount of money they will get for this little bout of spying.

If VM are not getting a large sum of money due to this we should all cancel our subscriptions as VM obviously has some of the most incompetent business people in the UK atm. I have voted to opt out if this comes in because i have seen similar schemes to these get very misused when the company concerned is chasing the money train.

This is not something that should be allowed and personally i think if this goes ahead it should be the other way round you opt in to this not opt out. For those saying "ah but we are monitored all the time nowadays" yeah thats true and shame on all of us for allowing it to get to the stage it is at but that doesn't mean we have to keep going along with it.

Say no, mean no and if they don't listen cancel your subscription i gaurantee enough do that you'll suddenly find VM very attentive.
 
Old 21-02-2008, 20:37   #169
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffin View Post
If everyone installs a good ad blocker then no ads will get through to anyone, end result no revenue generated. Perhaps VM will heed the message & drop this stupid idea. Better still a switched on VM manager read this thread, then use the grey matter & stop the ad deal being implemented.
However VM will still be sending the information to this Spyware company. the cookie if i read it correctly only stops you seeing the end resulting ad's

---------- Post added at 20:37 ---------- Previous post was at 20:35 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by RizzyKing View Post

Say no, mean no and if they don't listen cancel your subscription i gaurantee enough do that you'll suddenly find VM very attentive.
I intend to do just that should this Spyware be used.
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Old 21-02-2008, 20:54   #170
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

I've said it before but I thought it needed clarification.

Phorm use a cookie to store your Personal identification number or PIN so. blocking cookies from OIX.net (or indeed all cookies) means no PIN which means no data is collected.

Phorm do not collect urls they classify websites (e.g. "Finance" or "Health and Beauty") and collect and store the classifications.

I don't really think this is very easily tracable as the link between the data and you is stored on your pc, and the data itself is not particularly sensitive. It's a bit like some standing in a street and giving you a flyer for a clothing store after noticing that you had been in several recently and ignoring the next guy because all he had been in was electronics goods shops.

It's fairly easy to stop especially if your router supports url blocking, then you can block all traffic from them for all your pc's. You could also block it from your personal firewall or your browser.

I'm not trying to condone the action but Virgin media is a business and has to be as competitive as possible, network upgrades have to be paid for somehow.
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Old 21-02-2008, 21:10   #171
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joxer View Post
I've said it before but I thought it needed clarification.

Phorm use a cookie to store your Personal identification number or PIN so. blocking cookies from OIX.net (or indeed all cookies) means no PIN which means no data is collected.

Phorm do not collect urls they classify websites (e.g. "Finance" or "Health and Beauty") and collect and store the classifications.
If that is how it works, purely cookie based, why does the ISP need to be involved

Simple truth your ISP is about to sell you out, by selling to Phorm your usage habits. That requires some sort of network monitoring system. All a cookie will do is identify you to Phorm when they try to serve the ads back up. If is was purely cookie base, all the spyware companies would extremely quickly blacklist anything to do with Phorm.
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Old 21-02-2008, 21:12   #172
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirius View Post
However VM will still be sending the information to this Spyware company. the cookie if i read it correctly only stops you seeing the end resulting ad's

---------- Post added at 20:37 ---------- Previous post was at 20:35 ----------



I intend to do just that should this Spyware be used.
I've just downloaded and started to read the Enst & Young audit on Phorm's process, and it states; "We offer an easy, anonymous method for users to opt out of Phorm's systems if they would rather not receive targeted advertising and content. For as long as a user retains the Phorm opt-out cookie, the system will not collect or store data on their browsing behaviour." (my bold highlighting) Their claim appears to be that if we opt out, then they will not collect any data even though VM may well still be sending it to them. How much do we trust them on this? Not much at all would be my answer...before this system is initiated, VM must tell all of it's customers exactly how this works: If a customer has opted-out, what information (if any) is still sent by them to Phorm, and what information (if any) is still collected, stored and analysed by Phorm, regardless of whether "web security" or advertisements are provided to that customer or not.
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Old 21-02-2008, 21:19   #173
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

"We offer an easy, anonymous method for users to opt out of Phorm's systems if they would rather not receive a shot to the head"

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Old 21-02-2008, 21:22   #174
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
If that is how it works, purely cookie based, why does the ISP need to be involved

Simple truth your ISP is about to sell you out, by selling to Phorm your usage habits. That requires some sort of network monitoring system. All a cookie will do is identify you to Phorm when they try to serve the ads back up. If is was purely cookie base, all the spyware companies would extremely quickly blacklist anything to do with Phorm.
Good point. For this to work the way they hope it will, maybe VM will access that cookie with every webpage they serve us with, then send the resulting category data (and God knows what else) to Phorm?
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Old 21-02-2008, 21:34   #175
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

The question is how do you get the cookie? As far as I know you can't get a cookie without visiting a website (though I may be wrong). I take it that phorm have some software which wil have to sit on virgins network and monitor data but I don't know how this will work - if it's just monitoring data how does it manage to examine your cookie? Does it just do it for web sites that are signed up for it's services? That would work, so it would not know about sites you visit that haven't signed up for it's services so it wouldn't work for everyone anyway.

And how much of our precious bandwidth will be used sending all this data all over the place?

Ooh, just had a thought, you could have real fun deliberatly opting in and then editing the cookie on a random basis.........

---------- Post added at 21:34 ---------- Previous post was at 21:29 ----------

@ Rob

It's not purely cookie based there has to be something VMs side too but the cookie is the identifier so no cookie = opt out cookie but in my opinion easier to implement. How it actually works we are unlikely to know until someone reverse engineers it.
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Old 21-02-2008, 21:40   #176
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joxer View Post
I've said it before but I thought it needed clarification.

Phorm use a cookie to store your Personal identification number or PIN so. blocking cookies from OIX.net (or indeed all cookies) means no PIN which means no data is collected.
So if the user sucessfully blocks the cookie from ever being stored on their system;

Does this mean that the usage data still gets sent to Phorm, but with no user ID number (i.e. truly anonymous for us, and next-to-useless to them)?
-or- does it mean that because there is no ID number, NO data gets sent to Phorm?
-or- does it mean that the usage data just gets sent with some other unique identifier supplied by the ISP instead?(perhaps something related to your physical cable line on the UBR)

Also, isn't it likely that if too many people take a dislike to this system and block the cookie by it's domain (e.g. in their router) then it's quick and simple enough for VM or Phorm to quietly change the domain of the data collection part of the system without telling us, thus bypassing the block?

I guess until someone tells us how this system will actually work (technically, not the vague, infantile rubbish in the FAQ on the Webwise site) then nobody will know whether their attempts to protect their privacy are working or not...
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Old 21-02-2008, 22:07   #177
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Also, isn't it likely that if too many people take a dislike to this system and block the cookie
No most people will be unaware of it.

Quote:
it's quick and simple enough for VM or Phorm to quietly change the domain of the data collection part of the system without telling us, thus bypassing the block?
The process is audited by a fairly reputable firm.

Quote:
technically, not the vague, infantile rubbish in the FAQ on the Webwise site
It is unlikely since this would be fairly commercially sensitive information.
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Old 21-02-2008, 23:05   #178
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joxer View Post
The process is audited by a fairly reputable
firm.
Since when die Ernst & Young, a firm of accountants get known for their technical expertise in IT

---------- Post added at 23:05 ---------- Previous post was at 23:03 ----------

The only people I might trust, and even then with some reservations given recent debacles, would be OFCOM or the Information Commissioner's Office verifiying that this procedure did in fact meet the requirements of various legislation and also verifying that my anonymity was utterly guaranteed.
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Old 22-02-2008, 02:16   #179
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Unfortunately the Phorm technique for acquiring information to supply targeted ads appears to go way beyond the "AOL privacy violation" debacle.

On their OIX site (open internet exchange) they claim to be able to use "behavioural keywords" derived, over time, from a combination of search terms, URL's and even contextual page analysis.

Forget about cookies which I think is a smokescreen and think of what is needed to gain that information and although it falls way short of a keylogger it has what was searched for, what URL's were visited and what pages were viewed. Spying is the only term for what is intended.

They cannot do what they offer ISP's without a major infringement on the privacy of the client base. They will and must spy on users and the the AOL debacle shows that anonymity via a random number is no surety of anonymity.

If I was with one of the ISP's that has apparently expressed an interest then I would have no cause for complaint because they offer me ADSL for free. IMO if you pay nothing then you have no real rights but I pay VM shed loads of money and I resent the thought of them charging me premium prices to spy on me for extra money.
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Old 22-02-2008, 06:50   #180
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traduk View Post
Unfortunately the Porm technique for acquiring information to supply targeted ads appears to go way beyond the "AOL privacy violation" debacle.

On their OIX site (open Internet exchange) they claim to be able to use "behavioural keywords" derived, over time, from a combination of search terms, URLs and even contextual page analysis.

Forget about cookies which I think is a smokescreen and think of what is needed to gain that information and although it falls way short of a keylogger it has what was searched for, what URLs were visited and what pages were viewed. Spying is the only term for what is intended.

They cannot do what they offer Isp without a major infringement on the privacy of the client base. They will and must spy on users and the the AOL debacle shows that anonymity via a random number is no surety of anonymity.

If I was with one of the ISP's that has apparently expressed an interest then I would have no cause for complaint because they offer me ADSL for free. IMO if you pay nothing then you have no real rights but I pay VM shed loads of money and I resent the thought of them charging me premium prices to spy on me for extra money.
The way i see it is that VM will send your information to this Spyware company no matter if you have a cookie set or not. The cookie just stops you seeing the end result which is the adverts. VM in my opinion will be selling MY personal information to this Spyware company no matter what i do,

Therefor the only option should they go ahead with this is for me to dump them and go with a company not using this spyware company
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