KDnuggets : News : 2008 : n06 : item37 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >


A Company Promises the Deepest Data Mining Yet

New York Times, By LOUISE STORY, March 20, 2008

Amid debate over how much data companies like Google and Yahoo should gather about people who surf the Web, one new company is drawing attention - and controversy - by boasting that it will collect the most complete information of all.

The company, called Phorm, has created a tool that can track every single online action of a given consumer, based on data from that person's Internet service provider. The trick for Phorm is to gain access to that data, and it is trying to negotiate deals with telephone and cable companies, like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, that provide broadband service to millions.

Phorm's pitch to these companies is that its software can give them a new stream of revenue from advertising. Using Phorm's comprehensive views of individuals, the companies can help advertisers show different ads to people based on their interests.

"As you browse, we're able to categorize all of your Internet actions," said Virasb Vahidi, the chief operating officer of Phorm. "We actually can see the entire Internet."

Phorm is not the first company to realize that providers of broadband services are sitting on deep caches of consumer data. Other advertising companies like Front Porch, NebuAd, Adzilla and Project Rialto are trying to do much the same thing. What distinguishes Phorm is the success - and scrutiny - it has had in the British market.

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KDnuggets : News : 2008 : n06 : item37 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >

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