Feeds

Phorm man tipped to head Project Cartel

Is this Web-wise?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The Guardian reckons former Ofcom chief policy officer Kip Meek is due to be announced as chief executive of the BBC-led Project Cartel Canvas. But should he get the job, the former McKinsey man has a bit of baggage he may want to sling overboard.

In December 2008, beleaguered Phorm appointed Meek to its Board, along with former Chancellor Lord Lamont and two investment bankers. The firm had run into a storm of protest earlier that year.

As The Register first revealed, Phorm deployed a novel technical approach involved intercepting a user's web pages and working on a copy to create a behaviour advertising profile - without the user's knowledge or consent, it turned out.

Meek is widely liked and respected, and his appointment was seen as an attempt to sanitise the company's troubled image, bringing in both gravitas and connections.

Despite Phorm's subsequent implosion, Meek remains the lead non-exec director for Phorm.

Canvas boxes also do the Web

It's an unwelcome bit of baggage, because Project Canvas is very much in the business of collecting personal data - and creates a new seam of behavioural advertising for the industry to mine. With revenues from traditional TV advertising in terminal decline, internet TV operations need to know more about you.

Here's how Joost (now RIP) described it to us. Conventional TV spots are dumb, so the advertiser wastes money. Geographical and behavioural advertising will help "narrowcast" adverts only to TV watchers likely to buy products.

And no other media company will have a personal data treasure trove quite like the one open to Canvas - it's owned and operated by the terrestrial broadcasters, remember. Its reach goes far beyond the internet demographic, finding C2s that elude the posh papers, and ABCs that elude the tabloids. What a market to slice and dice.

Should Canvas appoint Meek, it should certainly ask him to lose the directorship. But it leaves the question - why did he ever think Phorm was a good idea in the first place? ®

Bootnote

No wonder the National Census may be scrapped - the state will gather all it needs to know from your TV habits.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.