Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]
OK, irrespective of whether or not TalkTalk is included in the BestBuy deal, I have fired off an email to the BestBuy Press Office as follows:
To whom it may concern,
It has been widely reported in the press and media in the UK today that BestBuy have bought a 50% stake in Carphone Warehouse however there is some confusion whether or not that includes TalkTalk (some articles are stating it doesn't include TalkTalk others are stating it does include Airtime Reselling which could possibly include TalkTalk). Either way I feel it only prudent for me to contact you and ask for an official statement for the British public with regards BestBuy opinion on TalkTalk's reported contract with Phorm Inc.
If you are unaware of the issue you can read about it here:
There are also some key documents regarding the legal issues surrounding Phorm:
You can also find my dissertation on the issue here:
I should point out that Phorm market capital has dropped by ~$600 million USD in the past 2 months as a result of the negative publicity surrounding their technology. Furthermore, a popular broadsheet newspaper in the UK (The Guardian) have announced they have dropped their deal with Phorm to join their OIX advertising platform on the basis that it is not in the best interests of their brand, see here:
Having been in the US several times I have used BestBuy and understand they have a very strong brand there; so I felt it was important to make you aware that if TalkTalk (part of Carphone Warehouse) do go ahead with the Phorm deal it could potentially be very damaging to the BestBuy brand either directly or by association. A petition on the Prime Minister's official petition website has managed to make it to the top 3 petitions in just 2 short months with more than 12 000 signatures, furthermore, peers in the House of Lords, Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament have all expressed concerns with the British Government with regards to the legality of Phorm and it's impact on the inalienable right to privacy and have demanded answers as to why the Home Office and Information Commissioners Office have failed to investigate the legal issues which have been raised.
I would be very interested to hear BestBuy's thoughts on this matter and I am sure the general public who are passionately campaigning against Phorm would be equally interested.
I will be posting this email into the public domain and respectfully request your permission to do the same with any reply you may choose to send.
University of Cumbria