Feeds

Phorm man tipped to head Project Cartel

Is this Web-wise?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.