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The privacy of broadband users is not being considered by suppliers in their proposals to introduce targeted advertising software.

Such is the assertion of the Open Rights Group, which has expressed concerned over the legality of the new Phorm software, which BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have all signed up for.

Although it has not yet been implemented, BT has attracted widespread criticism for conducting unannounced trials of the software, with the Register claiming that at least 38,000 customers were included in tests.

Becky Hogge, executive director of Open Rights Group, said: "Phorm may be illegal under the law that regulates surveillance of communications - the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act - because of the way it intercepts communications."

However, she added she did not feel these claims were being adequately investigated by the Information Complaints Commissioner (ICO).

She reports that the ICO has stated it is not the body in charge of such investigations and that they should be handled by the Home Office.

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