Newtonknows.com May Know More Than You Want!, Expose of Arrogance!

Discussion in 'Spyware' started by webhelper, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. webhelper

    webhelper Guest

    The dictionary defines arrogance as:

    Contemptuous pride: a strong feeling of proud self-importance that
    is expressed by treating other people with contempt or disregard.

    In my opinion, Newtonknows.com surely fits the definition.

    I was researching over at spywareinfo.com and came accross a post by a
    Mike Reed who turns out to be an employee of newtonknows until near
    the end of the threads on 8 Sept 2003 when he quit because his owners
    wouldn't go for what he wanted them to do. What caught my attention
    was a statement he had made in the beginnning of the 3 pages of
    threads that followed.
    He stated "...We have done a major overhaul of NewtonKnows over the
    last few months and we just released a new version.

    With this release, I ask again in, "Should NewtonKnows be included in
    the list of nasties included in Spybot?" ... I say NO!...

    Should NewtonKnows be included in the list of nasties included in
    Spybot? This is when I decided to see why it was included as a nasty
    and as my investigation progressed, anyone who would read the postings
    and then the EULA (End User Liscence Agreements) would see just how
    this company really thought of the users who would download and
    install their free software along with just how much it really costs
    in the long term!

    From the postings what really made me more than ever want to expose
    this business for what it really is, is one of the last posts made by
    Mike Reed where he is quoted as stating:"...I am bound and determined
    to prove that we can deliver high quality features for free, using
    real target advertising and a great deal of flexibility as the revenue
    source, and that we can achieve a real win/win. The desktop is prime
    advertising space, like it or not it will be used. ..."

    After reading the part in red is when I stopped and went to not only
    the newtonknows.com site but also to their main site VIRTUMUNDO.com to
    read their privacy policies and what I found would put a chill down
    your spine!

    From newtonknows you find this part:

    5. Product Functionality.

    5.1 Display of Advertising on your Computer Screen. The Product
    displays content ("Content"), including advertisements, that may
    appear anywhere on the screen, including over the web page you are
    currently viewing, or over another software application on your
    desktop. By downloading and installing the Product, you are consenting
    to the display of Content by the Product in such a manner.

    10. AUTOMATIC SOFTWARE UPGRADING AND AGREEMENT AMENDMENT NOTICE. After
    you install the Product, Virtumundo reserves the right to
    automatically add features or functions to installed Product, and/or
    to add new applications to the Product, at any time, and without
    notice to you. Any such update, or change may occur automatically
    without your knowledge.

    Here is what Vitumundo has to say:

    "...1.9 Information Collected by Company's Desktop Software. Company's
    desktop software (including NewtonKnows) and related services may
    routinely collect the following information about individuals: (1)
    error logs, (2) keywords used by the individuals in web searches, and
    (3) information about the sites the individuals visit. Error log
    information will be used by Company to improve the performance of the
    desktop software. Other information regarding individuals may be used
    for any purpose permitted by law, including to target relevant
    advertising to individuals.

    2.3 Targeted Advertising. The Company uses Individual Information to
    target advertising to an individual. When an individual is using the
    Internet, the Company uses Technology Information (see also Section
    2.5 below) to associate an individual with that person's Individual
    Information, and the Company attempts to show advertising for products
    and services in which the person has expressed an interest in the
    Surveys, indicated an interest by means of Technology Information, and
    otherwise. The Company may, at its discretion, target advertising by
    using email, direct mail, telephones, cell phones, and other means of
    communication to provide promotional offers.

    2.4 Direct Mail and Telemarketing. The Company uses Individual
    Information to advertise, directly or indirectly, to individuals using
    direct mail marketing or telemarketing using telephones and cell
    phones.

    2.5 Use of Technology Information. The Company uses Technology
    Information (1) to match a person's Survey Information and Third Party
    List Information to other categories of Individual Information to make
    and improve profiles of individuals, (2) to track a person's online
    browsing habits on the Internet, (3) to determine which areas of
    Company's web sites are most frequently visited. This information
    helps the Company to better understand the online habits of
    individuals so that the Company can target advertising and promotions
    to them...."

    The next part is what should generate a wake up call to the Internet
    community:

    "...2.6 Profiles of Individuals. The Company uses Individual
    Information to make a profile of an individual. A profile can be
    created by combining Survey Information and Third Party List
    Information with other sources of Individual Information such as
    information obtained from public databases.

    2.7 Storage of Individual Information. The Company stores the
    Individual Information in a database on Company computers. Our
    computers have security measures (such as a firewall) in place to
    protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information
    under Company's control. Notwithstanding such measures, the Company
    cannot guarantee that its security measures will prevent the Company
    computers from being illegally accessed, and the Individual
    Information on them stolen or altered...."

    To read both in full the links are given below:

    newtonknows.com privacy statement: http://www.newtonknows.com/EULA.php

    Virtumundo.com Privacy statement:
    http://privacy.virtumundo.com/pripol.html

    Also here is the link to the SWI postings:
    http://forums.spywareinfo.com/index.php?showtopic=9780&st=0


    All that for getting a free toolbar!
     
    webhelper, Sep 24, 2003
    #1
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