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Webistemology
Monday, December 06, 2004
  Wired News: Spyware on My Machine? So What?
Wired News: Spyware on My Machine? So What?: "IMesh, maker of a popular file-sharing application, recently began bundling an application called Marketscore. Some would view Marketscore as a privacy nightmare: The program routes all of a user's web traffic through Marketscore's own servers, where it is then analyzed to 'create research reports on internet trends and e-commerce activities,' according to Marketscore.
Even data entered on secure websites -- such as passwords, credit card numbers and bank account numbers, information that is supposed to be viewable only by the sender and the intended recipient -- is accessible to Marketscore, since the company has developed a method that allows it to view encrypted information.
But some users of iMesh didn't seem to be troubled by the actions of Marketscore. Users at iMesh forums chided those who complained, posting messages stating that 'without spyware there's no such thing as free software.'"

The issue is choice. If consumers want the 'free' software, enabled by spyware and such, cool. Not too aware of the consequeces of identity theft and fraud, but their choice. The problem is that these sites and/or service usually only operate in a mandatory mode, so people have to choose the service or not....not cool. A better more responsible model is needed by companies offering these services.

 


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