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Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats


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#1 Animal

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:02 PM

Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids' online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's chat messages — and sell the marketing data gathered.

Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.

"This scares me more than anything I have seen using monitoring technology," said Parry Aftab, a child-safety advocate. "You don't put children's personal information at risk."


Above quote from an Associated Press article by Deborah Yao. See here for the rest of the story.

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#2 Galadriel

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:39 PM

That's just.... ugh. Yet another reason to add to my arsenal of "why I don't endorse web snooping software". If parents didn't use the computer as a babysitter and became more active in their activities, this wouldn't be needed.

There's no words to express just how sleazy I think that company's tactics are.
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#3 Animal

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 02:53 PM

What I find disturbing is total lack of mention by anyone of COPPA, like it doesn't exist. Then why bother having COPPA?

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
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A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


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#4 Andrew

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 03:10 PM

Yeah, I read about this the other day and was almost sick.

#5 Galadriel

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 03:18 PM

What irks me is that they argue that they never get the name of the kid.... say what? So it's not snooping if you only know the IM screen name?

I hadn't even thought of COPPA, but that's an excellent point Animal.
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#6 Layback Bear

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 07:44 AM

Spy ware and Mal ware all rolled into one and parents pay for it. What a novel idea. The F.T.C should also be looking into this invasion of privacy. I think that lack of full disclosure would be one direction to look into.

#7 mov cx ax

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:46 AM

COPPA = The Rookit Of The Internet - Legal System!




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