Ad system "will protect privacy"

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Two respected privacy campaigners have praised the user protection measures of a controversial online advertising system about to be deployed in the UK.

The tools, developed by US firm Phorm, track users' online surfing habits. BT, Virgin and Talk Talk have signed up to trial the technology.

Campaigner Simon Davies said: "We were impressed with the effort that had been put into minimising the collection of personal information." Mr Davies and Gus Hosein were invited by Phorm to assess its privacy protection measures.

The two work with campaign group Privacy International but their work for Phorm was done as part of a new privacy start-up, 80/20 Thinking Ltd. Phorm has said its tools anonymise the data it collects and that users can opt out via their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) at any stage.But almost 1,000 people have signed a Downing Street online petition saying the system, called Webwise, breaches customers' privacy.

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