The UK Home Office has been accused of being in bed with Phorm after emails have come to light that show the government asking if the ad-targeting firm would be “comforted” by its position.
The Home Office appears to have been in discussion with the company over the advice it was drawing up for the public in relation to targeted advertising, though it has denied that it has provided “any advice to Phorm directly relating to possible criminal liability for the operation of their advertising platform in the UK”.
The emails, which were obtained by a member of the public following a freedom of information request, show Phorm repeatedly asking the department if it “has no objection to the marketing and operation of the Phorm product in the UK”.
Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on Home Affairs, Baroness Sue Miller, said:
“My jaw dropped when I saw the Freedom of Information exchanges. The fact the Home Office asks the very company they are worried is actually falling outside the laws whether the draft interpretation of the law is correct is completely bizarre.”
Meanwhile, the company has launched a website – http://www.stopphoulplay.com/ – which it says aims to stop the misinformation surrounding the technology.