Google and Bebo to boycott Phorm?

Google and Bebo are considering boycotting Phorm following a letter from the Open Rights Group asking for the companies' support.

The software tracks user activity online and then tailors adverts to their interests. The Open Rights Group said this invades user privacy.

The group sent an open letter last month to several large web firms requesting a boycott of the software. The Guardian has reported today that Google and Bebo are looking likely to join forces with the group and boycott as requested.

A Google spokesperson told IT PRO: "We are still considering the proposal and we will have more information on this soon."

A Bebo spokesperson stuck to a similar line and said: "We have received the letter and are giving it careful consideration from privacy and business perspectives."

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group and one of the letter's signees, said: "We strongly hope that Bebo, Google and others act to protect their customers' privacy. This isn't just about Phorm - it's the principle that third party systems shouldn't snoop on customer data without permission. These companies need to draw a clear line."