Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Randomness, Markov's got nothing on me....
Hotbar's privacy statement:
..HOTBAR COLLECTS AND STORES AGGREGATED INFORMATION ABOUT THE WEB SITES ITS USERS VIEW AND THE DATA THEY ENTER IN SEARCH ENGINE SEARCH FIELDS WHILE USING THE SOFTWARE. HOTBAR USES THIS INFORMATION TO DETERMINE WHICH ADS AND BUTTONS TO DISPLAY ON YOUR HOTBAR TOOLBARS AND WHICH ADS TO SHOW YOUR BROWSER...
Not shouting, folks. Just copied from the Broadband Reports link.
The big question is probably whether this thing is bundled with something (and I'm pretty convinced at this point that bundling crapware with P2P stuff is a tactic of the entertainment industry to so louse up people's computers who trade files that they become unusable) and it is installed without affirmative consent to the component (in other words, they're installing a bundle and you have to agree to the entire bundle without any chance of evaluating whether they've done a good job of integration testing on said bundle). There will always be the PEBKACs who will click on a pop-up and come whining about it, but I will exclude them from the discussion (hey, they're profitable). If it's ever installed through an exploit of any sort, it's on the Dark Side. When Win32.beavis installs iSearch, that's a virus installing ahem adware. iDownload doesn't proactively reach out to the computer security community to get the thing off people's computers who never intended to download the thing. This speaks of either supreme arrogance, indifference or complicity. Hopefully Hotbar is merely one of those items that are installed through sheer user idiocy (gotta love redundancy), but since Hotbar is playing in a very close area to iDownload (read as you've got to use their SuperDuperSpecialProprietaryDon'tDareUseSpybot Uninstaller) they're treading on some iffy moral ground.