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Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]
View Poll Results: Will you be opting out of the Virgin Ad Deal?
Yes, Definitely. 958 95.51%
No, I am quite happy to share my surfing habits with anyone. 45 4.49%
Voters: 1003. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 18-02-2008, 21:14   #46
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

Clearly six people who have voted 'No' so far are happy to have their privacy intruded upon. They have voted no but haven't included their reasons to why they wouldn't mind.

This is like allowing a stranger to read a paper at the same time as you. This like saying you wouldn't bat an eyelid if someone stared into your house through your windows.

How strange - but then again we do live in a strange world.
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Old 18-02-2008, 21:42   #47
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TehTech View Post
How in gods name can they serve RELEVANT ads to joe Bloggs and say that they dont store browsing habits? how on earth do they do it then if they dont store these details, I mean, if they dont store details, how they supposed to give the user relevant ads?
there is store and there is "store", the data will be recieved, processed to generate an ad, then deleted. therefore it would only be stored for a short amount of time.

haven't voted yet, but, how is this any different to any other contextual based advertising such as google adsense?
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Old 18-02-2008, 22:16   #48
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

This is awful and indigitive of the big brother state we are becomming.

I would opt out/cancel if I were still with VM but how long will it take for the other isp's to cash in?
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Old 18-02-2008, 22:42   #49
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

It's a bit naive to believe that your browsing habits are private. Surfing leaves an electronic footprint; ads or no ads.

Schemes like this are designed to cash in on the data that exists. You may avoid targeted ads if you opt out; but opting out to preserve privacy is like closing your eyes to make the big bad wolf go away.
 
Old 18-02-2008, 23:51   #50
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

I know that if I visit site A Site A will collect some data on my browsing and use of that site. If I visit site B, the same will happen. If I return to site A, that site remembers me, and may offer me some information based on my last visit.

What I so not expect is that having visited site V, I find that site V continues to track my browsing of both visits to site V, but also lets site X know that I'm visiting site A & B, so that site X can tell site C what ad to display when I go there. That isn't privacy in any form whatsoever.

For a long while VM, or at least the old NTL Ts& Cs or AUP said they didn't track what what it's users were doing. When did that dissappear and why wasn't I told as to me that is a very significant change in what they, my ISP can do.
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Old 18-02-2008, 23:51   #51
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

This is absolutely absurd, how can they be allowed to pass on your details to a 3rd party without your consent? surely this breaks the law under the data protection act?
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Old 19-02-2008, 00:08   #52
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

God this is as bad as going down your local shopping centre and having leaflets thrust in your face every 5 steps that you didn't ask for!

As far as I'm aware it's ME that decides what to buy and where to shop not some ad company trying to force unsolicited 'virtual leaflets' in my face!
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Old 19-02-2008, 00:54   #53
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web-Junkie View Post
God this is as bad as going down your local shopping centre and having leaflets thrust in your face every 5 steps that you didn't ask for!

As far as I'm aware it's ME that decides what to buy and where to shop not some ad company trying to force unsolicited 'virtual leaflets' in my face!
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Old 19-02-2008, 01:00   #54
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

More here, here, here and here

Quote:
Phorm’s platform connects the Internet Service Providers with advertisers and Web sites, allowing online ads to be targeted according to a user’s anonymous browsing trends.
Quote:
Phorm’s platform remembers the subjects a user has searched for and links this information to a user profile. The actual users and their Internet numbers remain anonymous.
Quote:
The system tracks recent sites visited by the user and any keywords they have entered to search engines to identify their interests, but replaces their identifying details with a random number that cannot be traced back.

“We cannot know who you are or where you’ve been,” said Kent Ertugrul, chief executive.
Quote:
Phorm (LSE: PHRX.L - news) 's technology will provide the ISPs with a new online advertising platform, the Open Internet Exchange, which will enable targeted advertising based on the search and browsing habits of the service providers customers, although the system anonymises the ISP data thereby safeguarding online privacy by protecting the identity of the consumers.
And from Virgin's own privacy policy

Quote:
Disclosing your information
Here's when we may provide information about you:

To employees and agents of Virgin Media to deal with any accounts, products and services provided to you by Virgin Media now or in the future.
With your agreement, to Virgin Media group companies and other Virgin companies (e.g. Virgin Atlantic), whose products and services may be of interest to you.
To search the files of a credit reference agency, which will keep a record of that search, when you apply for service. Additionally, details of how you conduct your account may also be disclosed to the agency. This information may be used by other organisations in assessing applications from you and members of your household.
We may use aggregate information and statistics for the purposes of monitoring web site usage in order to help us develop the web site and our service and may provide such aggregate information to third parties for example content partners and advertisers. These statistics will not include information that can be used to identify any individual for example, '10,000 people clicked on an advertisement yesterday'. We will not pass on your personal information to third parties except in accordance with this policy and our Terms and Conditions or where we are required by law to disclose that information.
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Old 19-02-2008, 01:13   #55
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

But the thing is, they say they "store" all the sites you visit & the searches, HOW LONG do they keep the data to make up this "profile"??

For instance, I will come on here, catch up on the new posts & threads, then I will probably close my browser for a bit, remember I need to check something on ebay, then close again, later on I'm back on here catching up, follow any interesting links like news stories & the like, then back here again.

Will they track ALL of this, or just the current internet session, and when the browser is closed, so is their "profile"?

Quote:
The system tracks recent sites visited by the user and any keywords they have entered to search engines to identify their interests, but replaces their identifying details with a random number that cannot be traced back.
So they DO have indentifying information about us at first, BUT what if there is a "computer error" or a "bug" in some of their software, or as someone mentioned earlier about the change of a "dodgy" worker that can access such details? And we ALL know that if something gets deleted, there is a good chance it can be recovered again!


If I wanted people watching what I do online, I'd link up a massive video screen wall in the middle of the town centre so they could watch!

Any sort of an update on how to opt-out of this rubbish?
Whats the betting their website crashes cos of too many people opting out at once
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Old 19-02-2008, 01:29   #56
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

So, this is different to Google AdSense ?
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Old 19-02-2008, 01:36   #57
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

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Originally Posted by Chicken View Post
So, this is different to Google AdSense ?
Adsense works by checking the text on the page being displayed (this is why you frequently get ads on this site that have nothing to do with Virgin Media, Cable or even the Internet). There is no personally identifyable data retrieved or sent to adsense.

This system works by tracking (and presumably keeping a record of) your browsing habits. This is the main problem I have with it.

Also, one other thing. How would it cope with public internet access terminals (such as those in Cyber Cafes)? You could go in one, and find that thanks to the viewing habits of those who used the terminal before you, their targetted advertising system sends you ads for hardcore porn, online pharmacies and nazi memorabilia.
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Old 19-02-2008, 01:38   #58
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TehTech View Post
If I wanted people watching what I do online, I'd link up a massive video screen wall in the middle of the town centre so they could watch!
Somebody already decided it would be a good idea to take your picture umpteen times when you're in the town centre. Coupled with our spending habits and online activity, we're owned already.

Internet privacy is an illusion
 
Old 19-02-2008, 01:39   #59
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart C View Post
Adsense works by checking the text on the page being displayed (this is why you frequently get ads on this site that have nothing to do with Virgin Media, Cable or even the Internet). There is no personally identifyable data retrieved or sent to adsense.

This system works by tracking (and presumably keeping a record of) your browsing habits. This is the main problem I have with it.
Which brings me back to my question: how long will they keep this data for?
To build a sucessful profile of someone's browsing habits could take a long time, especially for occasional users.
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Old 19-02-2008, 01:40   #60
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Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal - Would you be opting out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMcr View Post
More here, here, here and here
Taken from that third link:

Quote:
Phorm, an Aim-listed advertising technology company, has struck agreements with BT, Carphone Warehouse’s TalkTalk broadband business and Virgin Media, which account for about 70 per cent of the UK broadband market, to use its online advertising platform.
This is extremely worrying imo. Seventy percent of the UK's BB subscribers are affected, and 90% of the people that voted here object. I'm not with any of the 'big three' at present but I'd consider cancelling my subscription over this if I was. Let's hope the general populace opt out en masse and send the message to ISPs that this stuff is not acceptable.
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