A former law student Alexander Hanff (U.K.) wrote his dissertation on deep packet inspection technology used by PHORM, a company that tracks your actions on the Internet. PHORM creates a behavioral profile about you and sells it to other companies. Some companies, like PayPal, have their transactions routed via PHORM servers to profile their customers. This caused a controversy in 2006 leading to litigation in the U.K. and elsewhere.
Your task this week is to research PHORM or PHORM-like business activities and post a brief piece about the likely legal issues arising in current and future litigation cases. Can PHORM-like surveillance be stopped short of outlawing it? If so, how? Can PHORM-like behaviors be detected proactively and legally? If so, how? Is there a history of litigation in the US about PHORM-like activities? If so, what are the outcomes?
Here’s some potential information sources for you:
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