I wrote a piece a while ago about this troublesome little marketing nugget. Now a UK based company called Phorm (anagram of morph) is coming to the US. The three biggest ISPs in the UK have already signed up with the service that allows the company to track and report - anonymous - web surfing habits of 70% of UK households with broadband. Whilst requiring its partner companies to let customers opt out of the tracking, Phorm leaves it up to those partners to determine exactly how to tell people about the opt-out option.
One privacy body in the UK - Foundation for Information Policy Research, claims that the methodology is simply illegal and now a bill is about to be introduced in New York state which would severely limit such activities.
There is territory here that would provide advantages for all sides and frankly I believe that Phorm is a step in that direction but care must be taken and the company must be challenged along the way to ensure that all interests are truly protected.