Phorm, once called 121Media, was a digital technology company known for its contextual advertising applications. It ceased distributing those applications after criticisms from groups in America and Canada, and declared it was discussing with several United Kingdom Internet service providers (ISPs) to deliver targeted marketing based on the sites that users seen.
Phorm said the data gathered would be anonymous and wouldn’t be used to identify users, and that their service would even contain protection against phishing (fraudulent set of users’ private info).
The united kingdom Information Commissioner’s Office expressed legal concerns over Webwise, and has said it’d just be legal as an “opt-in” service, not an opt-out system. The European Commission called on the united kingdom to shield Web users’ privacy, and opened an infringement proceeding against the state in regard to ISPs’ use of Phorm. Some groups, including Amazon.com and the Wikimedia Foundation (the non-profit organization that manages collaborative wiki jobs), requested an opt-out of their sites from scans by the system. Phorm shifted to an opt-in policy. Based on Phorm’s site, the firm wouldn’t gather any information from users who’d not expressly chosen in to its services. Users had to supply separate authorization for each internet browsing apparatus they used.
Phorm stopped trading on April 14, 2016.