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Amazon bans Phorm from tracking users

Online retailer listens to Open Rights Group

Online retailer Amazon has announced that it will stop targeted advertising system Phorm from tracking users' activities on its web pages.

Phorm's controversial service, known as 'Webwise', tracks users' online surfing habits and then delivers relevant adverts. Despite claims by Phorm that it 'anonymises' the information about web users so they are impossible to identify, the service has raised a number of concerns from privacy campaigners.

Amazon's announcement follows a plea from the Open Rights Group, which contacted big tech companies including Amazon and Microsoft asking them to ban the service. The ORG feels Webwise illegally intercepts web users' communications and could commit long-term damage to the brands that adopt it.

The European Commission is also concerned that the service has breeched personal data rules. The EC has given the UK government two months to outline plans that will ensure no data protection laws are broken, or it will consider pursuing the matter in the European Court.

Amazon UK said: "We have contacted Webwise requesting that we opt-out for all of our domains."


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