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I'm glad to see that the Portals are beginning to move on this issue. It won't be long before all the toolbar systems have something similar available.
I think it is good to give the consumer the ability to remove programs that they don't want. If they like having spyware on their computer, they can keep it, but if they don't want it...goodbye.
I'd hate to have my business model based on consumers having my downloaded application on their computer.
In addition to collecting, "...name, email address, birth date, gender, zip code, occupation, industry, and personal interests [and for] some financial products and services...your address, Social Security number...information about your transactions with us and with some of our business partners...your IP address, Yahoo! cookie information, and the page you request"
Yahoo! uses information for the following general purposes: to customize the advertising and content you see, fulfill your requests for products and services, improve our services, contact you, conduct research, and provide anonymous reporting for internal and external clients.
Given all that, what's with the anti spyware stuff.
Hype or reality?
Yahoo Cozies Up with Spyware Scum
If you've downloaded Yahoo's new toolbar, you've probably stopped worrying about rogue programs spying on your every behavior. That's because the program promises to fight spyware, along with pop-ups and other web woes. But your relief would be chimerical at best. That's because Yahoo's toolbar won't block a particularly virulent form of spyware. Why? Our story has the details, including a tantalizing look at the backroom hanky-panky we've uncovered.
Yahoo Spyware Blocker Doesn't:
In a test of PestPatrol's free, online scanning tool, eWEEK.com confirmed that it does detect the presence of Claria's GAIN software automatically.
To Edelman, Yahoo's decision not to include adware by default in its Anti-Spy beta is a mistake.
Yahoo is caught trying to pull a fast one
The product is PestPatrol, a software that blocks Claria by default. In the Yahoo implementation, Yahoo chose to reverse it so that Overture could still deliver stealth results through the SearchScout product. SearchScout delivers a pop-up with alternate results whenever a user visits a search engine.
Did Yahoo think people wouldn't notice? Moves like these don't inspire feelings of trust. :(
Two sources I suggest, include Larry Seltzer’s eWeek piece (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1606431,00.asp), and for those looking for additional clarification on adware vs. spyware, please check out our Security Center (http://security.yahoo.com/spyware.html).
...but if they appear to have their tool set to help one of the biggest offenders...
SearchScout is an application that generates a pop-up with paid search results whenever you visit a search engine.
Yahoo_Mike, two questions:
Myself, I think that all depends on whether searchscout has a clearly labelled and complete uninstall feature. Then if the users keep it you might say they enjoy being served somebodys ads when using the free internet. If it hides .dll's and reloads after being deleted manually... to me anyway, it would cross the line from adware to another classification altogether. I hope none of my overture ads are being served by these popunders. I am going to look into it and will kill the overture account tomorrow if so and if it can't be opted out of. I would *never* buy from one of these advertisers and I think the sentiment is quickly spreading as the malware gets more sophisticated and invasive.
So how many users do you think actually made the *choice* to install a Claria product, versus having it thrust upon them with a drive-by download or bundled app that they didn't realize included Claria? Our research (PC Pitstop) shows that about three-quarters of Claria "users" don't even know they have it installed. They didn't get the opportunity to make a choice.
Yahoo's support of Claria is bad for Yahoo's partners. If I was a merchant at Yahoo Shopping I would be livid, because it's very likely that Claria's pop-under ads are stealing my customers away. And Yahoo is financing that theft by supporting Claria.
The "adware" distinction was something that Yahoo added in its version of Pest Patrol technology; although Yahoo's PR person tried to imply it was a choice that Pest Patrol made that's not true. Even if the product detected adware by default, as I believe it should, the user still gets to make that all-holy choice by determining which items on the list should be removed. By taking adware out of play, Yahoo is restricting user choice, not enhancing it.
In the future, we are planning to automatically detect these kinds of dependencies (unfortunately there are a lot of different ones) to enable users to better make these tradeoffs, but in the meantime, please submit any suggestions you might have to [add.yahoo.com...]
Use a space after a link Mike. The period broke it! :)
[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 10:07 pm (utc) on June 4, 2004]
[edit reason] Fixed link [/edit]
Yahoo, and its related services, are sites I use with caution and only as needed. As the truth comes out about the "spyware detection" features now offered by Y, it only reinforces the distasteful reputation that the company has earned in my mind over the past couple of years.
It is all tied to monetization. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but it has been taken to an extreme that serious limits Y's functionality for me.
There is one question to ask when you come out of Beta:
Does the product prevent ALL major adware?
(and extremely important...
If there are any Yahoo partners that you are in some way protecting, then the product is doomed from the start...
You must decide who's more important: the user or your partners)
With all due respect Yahoo_Mike, Yahoo has a terrible record in the area of protecting its users privacy and choice.
Yes. Last year the Attorney General of New York investigated Yahoo [webmasterworld.com] for violating the privacy of their users through deceptive practices. Yahoo came to the table and agreed to settle the issue and pay $75,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.
The disturbing thing about that episode is that it took the actions of the United States' most high profile attorney general to scare Yahoo into doing right.
Google, on the other hand, weighs their business propositions in tandem with the ethical implications. They actually debate whether a particular move would be good for it's users. Google inspires confidence and trust. Google gets it when it comes to creating a brand that people will trust.
It would be nice to see Yahoo take the high road for once in terms of the ethical implications of their business decisions, instead of foisting a crippled spyware product onto it's users.
No, nor does it keep it from re-installing and multiplying. Even with Spybot & Adaware - all 3. But this one has been the handiest, ran far faster and caught things the others didn't.
Last time I looked it was out of Beta and no longer available. Other things aside, I'm still glad Yahoo came out with something because at least to some degree it raises public consciousness and makes some sort of a statement. Even if it's nothing more than a PR move, it still might help.
Claria is most CERTAINLY downloaded to people's machines with no consent given whatsoever. And it comes back repeatedly.
There's an anti-spyware bill that just came out of sub-committee, next step is committee then the House floor, with something corresponding in the Senate. Ultimately the responsibilities for these things will land on someone's doorstep. The two-fold problem so far is that the FTC hasn't had the legs they need to walk into the situation, and there's been a lack of accountability established.
Ain't NO WAY Bill Gates is gonna take the rap for this one.
martinibuster - no offense but Google is selling out but proclaiming to be better than everyone else. Check out yhis article titled: "Google values its own privacy. How does it value yours?" [theregister.co.uk...] This really opened my eyes.
and quotes FROM GOOGLE executives:
"Larry Page wouldn't say whether Google planned to link Gmail users to their Web search queries. 'It might be really useful for us to know that information" to make search results better, he said. 'I'd hate to rule anything like that out,'" reported the Los Angeles Times.
'I keep asking for a product called Serendipity,' said Eric Schmidt recently. USA Today reported that "this product would have access to everything ever written or recorded, know everything the user ever worked on and saved to his or her personal hard drive, and know a whole lot about the user's tastes, friends and predilections."
Four days later, with Larry wisely hidden out of harm's way under the stairs, Google VP of Engineering Wayne Rosing faced the fire. "Rosing said there will be an information firewall separating Google's search engine from Gmail," AP reported on April 6. "'We don't use the data collected on one service, ' he said, 'to enhance another,'". Two days later in the New York Times Rosing was less emphatic: "We have no immediate plans to do so in the future," he said.
This quote says it best:
"It's ironic," writes one reader, "for a company that says Do No Evil - they don't know the definition." After Gmail, what price Serendipity? ®
All this from executives at the company itself.
I too feel very sad that a company i once felt really good about is losing the users (my) trust, selling out, losing focus and becoming quite hypocritical.
Although i didn't feel this way before, i'm looking at the facts/actions as well as listening to the words.
What left is there to believe in?