Phorm Tells FTC it Endorses ‘No Retention’ of Consumer Data for the Sake of Behavioral Advertising
LONDON & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It is unnecessary to retain consumers’ Internet browsing data for online behavioral advertising to be effective.
“only as long as is necessary to fulfill a legitimate business or law enforcement need.”
That is one of several core comments that Phorm, Inc. made in a filing on Friday with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Phorm, an innovative digital technology company with operations in London and New York, recommended guidelines that the FTC can adopt to fully protect consumers and yet not limit electronic commerce.
Indeed, Phorm told the FTC that its proprietary technology “specifically enhances users’ ability to protect their privacy.” The three pillars of Phorm’s technology are 1.) It does not and cannot know who the user is. 2.) It cannot know where the user has been. 3.) It provides all users transparent notice and they can switch the Phorm service off at any time.
Phorm submitted its comments and recommendations to the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, which is consulting with the industry on new principles for governing online behavioral advertising. The company pledged to work with the FTC to support industry best practices and self regulation in the online privacy arena.
The FTC has indicated concerns about the length of time that companies retain consumer data collected for behavioral advertising purposes. The agency had requested comments on its “Principle 2” that calls on companies to retain data “only as long as is necessary to fulfill a legitimate business or law enforcement need.”
As Phorm commented to the FTC, its technology meets the FTC’s proposal and far exceeds the industry standard regarding data storage and retention, because no retention of consumers’ browsing data is required for Phorm’s technology to work effectively.
Among its other specific comments, Phorm endorsed the creation of ‘sensitive data’ categories for Internet advertising and informed the FTC of the company’s measures for preventing advertising based on sensitive information.
The company also strongly supports a standard of transparent notice and informed choice that would permit users to make a meaningful decision whether to switch off Phorm’s service. Phorm points out that this standard is common practice and is understood by industry and consumers without being overly burdensome.
Phorm’s technology is designed to be utilized with ISP partners to provide targeted online advertising using anonymized, aggregated behavior data gathered at the ISP level.
Phorm has already signed agreements to deploy its technology with three major U.K. ISPs: British Telecom, Talk Talk and Virgin Media.
Phorm is an innovative technology company specialising in delivering behaviourally and contextually targeted advertising while preserving users' personal privacy and security. Phorm's partners include leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Publishers, Ad Networks and Advertisers.
Phorm is a Delaware, US incorporated company, with offices in New York and London. The Company was admitted to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in 2004 and has over 100 employees.
For more information, please visit: www.phorm.com.