As you might have read in this morning’s Financial Times, this month’s Prospect has a rather intriguing piece from former Endemol chairman Peter Bazalgette. Peter—or Baz, as he tends to be known—argues that the claims of privacy campaigners are overblown, and that ignoring the benefits of a new generation of digital tracking technologies threatens the internet economy with bankruptcy. The story also gives the background on Phorm, the company at the heart of a recent furore in this area. Its well worth a read.
The piece has already created quite a stir, not least for the argument that, as the Telegraph puts it, “Big Brother state threatening internet downloads, says the man behind Big Brother.” Anticipating that it might, we’ve been lucky enough to already to already have an excellent response, from Becky Hogge at the Open Rights Group. Among many beefs with what she calls “Bazalgette’s ill-informed apologia for Phorm,” Hogge says that Bazalgette’s argument would end up not benefiting small, struggling advertisers, but instead be an effective subsidy to BT, and other big infrastructure companies. Meanwhile, Phorm, she argues, works “as if the postman were being paid to open every letter he delivered to you, just in order to send you a better class of junk mail.” Again, worth reading. Feel free to use the comments below to weigh in on whether Baz, or Hogge, gets the best of the argument.