Gator to call shots on Federal Privacy Board!!!

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by fastvfr, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Here's more news from the Hell In A Handbasket Department...

    "The Department of Homeland Security has named Claria, an adware maker that online publishers once dubbed a "parasite," to a federal privacy advisory board.

    An executive from Claria, formerly called Gator, will be one of 20 members of the committee, the department said Wednesday.

    "This committee will provide the department with important recommendations on how to further the department's mission while protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information of citizens and visitors of the United States," Nuala O'Connor Kelly, the department's chief privacy officer, said in a statement.

    Claria bundles its pop-up advertising software with ad-supported networks such as Kazaa. Recently, the privately held company has been trying to seek credibility by following stricter privacy guidelines and offering behavioral profiling services to its partners.
    In an e-mail message to CNET News.com, Kelly defended the inclusion of a Claria representative on the committee. "I am proud of, supportive of and grateful for those individuals in the public and private sector who are willing to take on the hard tasks, fight the good fight, and who surprise us with creative, fresh and unconventional thinking, and who make change where change is needed through their hard work and personal dedication," Kelly said.

    In the past, Claria's pop-up ad software has riled some users who claimed it was annoying, installed without permission, and not easy to delete. Publishers also were irked about pop-up ads for a rival's product appearing next to their own Web sites. Catalog retailer L.L. Bean sued Gator for alleged trademark infringement.

    Claria's representative on the Homeland Security privacy board is company Vice President D. Reed Freeman, a former Federal Trade Commission staff attorney. Other members include executives from Intel, Computer Associates International, IBM, Oracle and the Cato Institute.
    Kelly said Freeman will "bring his courage and conviction to the board, and will contribute productively--and constructively--to the board's and the public's dialogue on privacy and homeland security."

    The committee is tasked with providing "external expert advice to the secretary and the chief privacy officer on programmatic, policy, operational and technological issues that affect privacy, data integrity and data interoperability."

    In February 2003, Gator settled a high-profile case brought by The Washington Post, The New York Times, Dow Jones and other media companies. Terms of that deal were quiet, but Claria appears to have stopped delivering pop-ups to those publishers' sites. "

    Here is the link to a story on this travesty.
     
  2. hapuna

    hapuna Trusted Member

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    Fox guarding Henhouse?????? ;b
     

  3. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    Rofl, what's next...Phillip Morris the head of the National Cancer Society ;g
     
  4. NGWT

    NGWT

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    Yeah, let's put politcal wankers on the board who know nothing about spyware let alone computers. They'll give good advice.
     
  5. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Oh, NGWT, it's waaaaay worse than that!!

    Gator, if you didn't know, offers a screwy little app called the E-Wallet that lets you insert your name, address, CC numbers, and all manner of other personal info into it so it can autocomplete fields in online sites.

    It also scans your PC thoroughly for any other banking and financial information you may have stored on it, and adds all that data to itself without prompting you.

    The problems with this are legion...first, the little b4st4rd sends all of your saved information back to its servers each time it 'checks for updates'.

    So not only can it install itself automatically, which is SUPPOSED to be a Federal crime, but it then steals private data from your PC surreptitiously.

    It is a nasty little privacy-shredding hackbot, is what it is.

    And now the unpunished, unrepentant, renamed criminal organization that brought this blight upon the world IS 'HELPING' THE US GOVERNMENT WITH ITS PRIVACY POLICY...ON OUR DIME!!!

    These are all excellent reasons to be outraged, just in case you were wondering...

    Apparently, Orwell was an optimist.
     
  6. NGWT

    NGWT

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    I know what Gator is.

    I just think it's a good idea to have this guy on the board since he's one of the "bad guys".

    I'm looking at it no differently than the gov't or a private company hiring hackers to improve security.

    Yes, it is a bit like having the fox watching the hen house, but in this case the fox is in an advisory role. Whether he will advise to benefit the foxes or the chickens, remains to be seen :)
     
  7. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Sure, there's that aspect.

    And then there is the question of why this person is not languishing in a Penitentiary somewhere.

    And that, IMHO, raises the question of what the exact reason WHY no one in his organization has even been charged with the flagrant violation of dozens of computer fraud and privacy laws might be...

    It really makes me wonder who the other 19 members of that Board are. And what function this board is intended to serve.