The Spyware Wars are Over - and Spyware Has Won


Annalee Newitz, for Wired, writes Don't Call it Spyware.

By re-branding spyware as adware and Gator as Claria the company has stripped itself of many of the legal setbacks and now is at the forefront of behavioral ad targeting.

Today Gator, now called Claria, is a rising star. The lawsuits have been settled - with negligible impact on the company's business - and Claria serves ads for names like JPMorgan Chase, Sony, and Yahoo! The Wall Street Journal praises the company for "making strides in revamping itself."


don't be evil

Funny how the future of Claria sounds so much like the present Google. From that article:

PersonalWeb, a Claria product scheduled to launch in January, is a close cousin of the OfferCompanion program that hitched a ride on eWallet. It tracks everything users do on the Internet and sends the information to remote servers for analysis. Then it places ads on partnering publishers' Web sites, changing them depending on the profile of the visitor. The crucial difference is that PersonalWeb doesn't display irritating pop-ups that might make users wonder what else has been installed on their PCs. Better yet, publishers will get a cut of the clickthrough commissions for ads Claria places on their sites. There will no more fights over territory. "It's great for everybody," Eagle says. "Merchants make money, publishers make money, and so do we."

So publisher's can look forward to another contextual monetization track, and perhaps Google can benefit from someone else pushing the envelope of disclosure for commercal "advertorial" disguised as content (?)

Spyware won?

I for one welcome our new spyware overlords.

You say Pot-ta-toe I say Poe-Tay-toe

Put a spade is a spade. 'Adware', 'Contextual Advertising', 'Browser Helpers', 'Toolbars', it's all f*ckin Spyware whether you drive by download it, bundle it with convienient screensavers, or ask users to download it to participate in your rewards program.

I've spent too much time and headache chasing these people out of my affiliate programs. They all indoctrinate themselves with each others B*llsh*t about how they are different form Claria or 180solutions etc etc. About how they have lunch with Eliot Spitzer all they time and are great buddies.

If you have to change your company name every three months - SOMETHING IS WRONG! If are search on Google for your brandname is surrounded by Paid Adwords for Spyware removal tools - SOMETHING IS WRONG! If you got kicked out of the big three affiliate networks for pushing cookies - YOU ARE NOT PLAYING BY THE RULES!

They often go back to 'We are not doing anything illegal', or 'you can always uninstall it', or my fav 'we don't do those things anymore'!

But a spade is a spade. It's a matter of ethics, if you stole commissions yesterday, you'll steal em tomorrow if you can get away with it.

I'd name a few names but I'm sure some lawsuits are soon to be pending...

Or Yahoo

Funny how the future of Claria sounds so much like the present Google.

Better aim your fire at Yahoo, too.

Yahoo uses online behavior to target ads

Yahoo also bundles there tools using questionable methods

If you have tried to update your Acrobat reader in the past six months, you'll of noticed that Yahoo and Adobe have teamed up to push the Y! Toolbar AND you can't opt-out if you want to upgrade you HAVE to d/l the bar.

They finally fixed this a few weeks ago, but I'm sure they have pushed a lot of bars over the past six months.

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