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Friday, 1 December 2006

AGLOCO update: spyware free!

Previously, I had posted about AGLOCO, a way to make money on the internet from the previous founders of AllAdvantage. In an effort to clarify the company's ambitions, John Chow interviewed AGLOCO’s founder, Akshay Mavani (read the interview here) and more recently, Ray Everett-Church, the AGLOCO Chief Privacy Officer. He wrote the following on John's blog, after there was some debate regarding the issue:

I couldn’t disagree more with the characterization of the Viewbar as spyware. In my experience, spyware has four main characteristics: 1) It’s installed without your permission; 2) It surreptitiously tracks you; 3) it is difficult if not impossible to turn off or remove; and, 4) it sends your information to an unknown and untrustworthy entity where you have no control over what happens to it.

AGLOCO’s Viewbar (nor AllAdvantage’s Viewbar before it) does not have those characteristics. Indeed, AGLOCO’s Viewbar is the opposite of spyware: you must actively install it, you have to turn it on in order for it to track you and earn your hours, you can easily turn it off and uninstall at will, and finally you know who’s tracking you and our Privacy Policy gives you explicit information about what happens with your data and how you can delete it from our system if you desire.

I know a thing or two about spyware: I was an expert witness in a series of twelve lawsuits in which I testified against one of the major perpetrators of spyware on the Internet. They actually hired me in part because of my experiences at AllAdvantage with permission-based and privacy-protecting advertising technologies like the Viewbar.

If you’re interested (or can’t sleep!) you can read brief excerpts from my 80-page expert witness report (the whole report is, unfortunately, under seal by the federal court). I submitted the excerpts when I testified at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Workshop on Spyware in 2004. My written materials are here.

I hope that helps clarify things a bit more.

Ray Everett-Church
AGLOCO Chief Privacy Officer

I hope this clarifies any questions or concerns people have had regarding AGLOCO. The viewbar is scheduled to be released soon in the near future. You can sign up for AGLOCO here. If this thing takes off again like AllAdvantage, it will be one of the biggest things to hit the internet that you won't want to miss!


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