The Company That Spyware Built

from the try,-try-again dept

Claria is still trying to refine its image and its business model. A year and a half ago they started threatening anyone who called their software spyware and then changed their name to Claria to avoid the negative stigma associated with the Gator name. While they tried and failed to go public last year, they're still trying to clean up their image. This would be a good thing, as their image needs cleaning up... except it still seems somewhat sketchy. They're outlining a detailed plan to basically do targeted advertising arbitrage. Here's how the plan works: they buy super super cheap run of site leftover ad inventory from large publishers for next to nothing. Then, they turn around and resell that ad space as much more costly, highly targeted ad space, and clean up on the difference. How can they do this? Well, thanks to the fact that their application is already installed on so many computers, they have all this data about how and where people surf. This is the part that the article sort of glosses over. Because they've been able to get this... hmm... let's call it "monitorware" on so many computers (often without the owners of said computers knowing about it), they're in a position to do this. So, this isn't so much "cleaning up their act," as leveraging their past misdeeds (installing an app that records what you do and sends it back to their servers without adequately revealing to the end user what was happening) to make themselves look like a more legitimate business. That, in some ways, seems much, much worse. In the past, attempts at similar offerings have met with outrage from users who don't feel comfortable being targeted in this manner. It's not clear why Claria thinks it'll be fine this time.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jared, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 10:06am

    Cleaning Up?

    Cleaning up their act? Hmm....cleaning up their act to me would entail not using 1/3 of system resources and an easy and honest uninstall. That would be cleaning up to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 10:55am

    Re: Cleaning Up?

    Claria/Gator " doings " ARE NOT news.
    Its a thinly designed marketing campaign to get sites like Techdirt to feed us their swill.

    Death to Claria !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Mike, Feb 15th, 2005 @ 11:08am

    Claria

    Did you know that Silicon Valley legend Andy Bechtolsheim is a major investor in Claria/Gator? How come he isn't being ostracized? People should be picketing in front of his house. And he's only one of them. The list is long.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 15th, 2005 @ 11:18am

    Re: Cleaning Up?

    Er... yeah. If you actually read the post, you'd realize that I was trashing the concept that they were actually "cleaning up" their act. They're not. They're actually making it worse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 15th, 2005 @ 11:20am

    Re: Cleaning Up?

    Claria/Gator " doings " ARE NOT news.
    Its a thinly designed marketing campaign to get sites like Techdirt to feed us their swill.


    What was news was CNET claiming this was them cleaning up their act, which the post here was trying to show was not the case at all. I find it hard to believe that Claria thinks the post written here is good for "marketing" since it basically picks apart why what they're doing is bad...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2005 @ 6:39am

    Re: Cleaning Up?

    Yeah Mike,

    and once again you've given CLARIA a whole story... again. ( sigh )

    As once said: " Even bad publicity is publicity "

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2005 @ 11:34am

    Re: Cleaning Up?

    If any publicity is good publicity, then why did they change their name from Gator to Claria?
    Hint: They had too much publicity.
    I'm all for calling attention to every corrupt action they take.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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