Friday, September 04, 2009

Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats -

Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats - wtop.comParents get a free downloadable product to oversee their kids surfing and online communications. Great, right? Not so great if that company is capturing those communications anc activities for its own use, like to share with marketing and datamining services. But no one would do that without letting parents know in big letters, flashing neon signs and foghorns, right? No quite. What about not letting you know in a privacy policy found on each page where everyone else keeps them. What about tucking the privacy policy (and the inadequate disclosure) in a "support" link and then in a "policies" link under that.

Not an issue, claims the company. Parents can opt out if they don't want the company or third parties getting info about their kids. AP claims that wasn't in their download. I don't want their download anywhere near my machine. It's not on the site, not where it should be and not clearly stated, and even if it were, it's probably not legal or sufficient disclosure for any consumer protection agency.

I am saddened to hear that a company claiming to be in the child safety business may be putting them at risk. Hopefully when both sides are fully-heard and the regulatory agencies (FTC and state AGs) finish looking into this it will be a tempest in a teapot. But if it's not...shame on Sentry!

Expect to hear more, much more.

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