Friday, September 04, 2009

Sentry "Parental Control" software is collecting and sharing kids information

Parents looking to buy a reputable monitoring software to keep track of their kids' chats, IMs and online communications might have considered Sentry's various products. But AP just learned that Sentry collects the information that parents may think is stored only on their home computer for their own review for the purposes ot selling it to marketers. They claim they strip it of more personal information, but admit to collecting at least the screen name or other identifier used by the kids. Legal? Maybe not. Unethical? Certainly looks that way if the AP report is accurate.Bismarck Tribune Online - World and National NewsThe plot thickens. I suspect that Fox and others will run like the dickens when they learn how data is obtained. Parent's permissio to sharing of COPPA-applicable info on their preteens is more than an opt-out. The privacy policy does not otherwise comply with COPPA. With fines of more than $1 million in recent years to getting it wrong when COPPA is concerned, you'd think a public company would be more careful.

My advice to everyone with Sentry installed on their home computers is to turn it off until we learn more.

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