BT's trial of the controversial Phorm advertising technology which looks at where users go on the net to better target advertising has ended successfully according to a statement from Phorm. Shares in Phorm jumped by 82.5p to 282.5p on the news.
"Phorm, the advertising technology company, is pleased to announce that the trial with ISP partner BT has now concluded. The trial achieved its primary objective of testing all the elements necessary for a larger deployment, including the serving of small volumes of targeted advertising. "Following the successful completion of analysis, both of the trial results and of any changes required for expansion, BT has informed the company that it expects to move towards deployment."Statement from Phorm
The trial which involved 10,000 people, branded Webwise also helped protect users from websites that are thought to be fraudulent or untrustworthy. The Phorm technology used has raised many concerns over privacy, even invoking a police investigation (that was later dropped) in to secret trials that occurred without users consent. News that the system is heading toward a full deployment will frustrate those that believe there are still legal concerns with the system. FIPR (the Foundation for Information Policy Research) has been vocal against Phorm as it believes the system uses illegal interception and also infringes copyright of website owners.
Carphone Warehouse via their Talk Talk brand and Virgin Media are also expected to trial the Phorm system although they haven't advanced as far as BT. Virgin Media has stated that it is committed to implementing such a system though.