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Virgin Media denies ditching Phorm

But ISP confirms talks with competitor

Virgin Media and Phorm have both denied claims the ISP wants to dump the targeted advertising system in favour of another service.

New Media Age claimed Virgin Media was looking to sign with Audience Science instead. However, Phorm immediately issued a statement saying: "There is no substance to today's New Media Age story. Over the last year there have been continuous attempts to create the illusion that Phorm's ISP partners are parting ways with the company. This is yet another example of such a story, which has no basis in fact".

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 attracted a number of concerns from privacy campaigners.

The Open Rights Group (ORG) even contacted a number of big tech companies including Amazon and Microsoft asking them to ban the service, which last week Amazon and Wikipedia agreed to.

While Virgin Media confirmed it is in talks with Audience Science, it said it has no plans to dump Phorm.

"The only agreement we have in place is with Phorm. We are investigating the use of Phorm's technology under our existing agreement with the company but, due to the complexities of the proposition, we do not have any timescales on when, or if, we will progress to trial or launch," said a spokesman for the ISP.


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