Yahoo Privacy Storm Has Little Effect

from the ho-hum dept

Following the ridiculous move by Yahoo to automatically opt everyone in to receive spam, there was a loud uproar (at least in the tech community) of people complaining. What I heard from people at Yahoo was that the folks in charge of the program simply didn’t care what everyone thought (which seems pretty obvious, actually), and they laughed off all of us crazy internet folks who take things like “privacy” so seriously. Now, Yahoo is saying that most people didn’t mind the changes because so few actually cancelled their account (NY Times article). This is ridiculous. First of all, a lot of people didn’t even realize what Yahoo did, and just because people didn’t cancel their account, or only a “small percentage” of people were offended, doesn’t make what Yahoo did okay.

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Comments on “Yahoo Privacy Storm Has Little Effect”

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D Henkel-Wallace says:

May understate true effects

I didn’t realise I could nuke the account, so just changed all the info to be irrelevant (including mail address) and opted out of everything. Then deleted all the yahoo cookies in my browser.

Anyway, people who’ve given out their yahoo address can’t just cancel the account — others have that address.

The real question is: are people signing up as quickly as they were before?

alternatives() says:


Corporate America knows what the politations have known for a long time.

Most people don’t care enough to DO anything.

Look at the DMCA and the ‘ohhh its EVIL’ as stated by the tech crowd. (/. is a hotbed of these loud do-nothing whiners) Yet, these same techies who call the DMCA ‘evil’ are willing to hand over $$$ to the people who paid for the DMCA, and go see ‘spider-man’ or buy Sony hardware. Guess its not evil enough to stop lining the pockets of the companies who brought the DMCA into existance, and are working to make sure things like the SSSCA/CBTPA come into existance.

Kind of like the SUV’s with ‘save the environment’ stickers.

todd says:

Missing the mark

Yahoo is missing the mark (obviously) — I didn’t cancel my account in protest (something that people do with, say, newspaper subscriptions), but I instead opted out of everything. If that isn’t a signal to them, they are nuts. Furthermore, I sent detailed instructions on how to do the same to 20+ family members and friends. Not one of us cancelled our accounts, but we sure like Yahoo a little less.

Patrick Grote (user link) says:

What Yahoo! did was fine ...

Yahoo! let folks know what was going on and most, almost all, people could care less.

Yahoo! And I meant that as a pun.

The internet is not a free service and someone has to pay. If using Yahoo!, which is a great service, means I have to look at ads and put up with marketing spam, then so be it. I get much more value out of it than that.

What kills me is when people complain about their privacy on the internet being trampled. You’re on the internet, folks. It’s a public network and you don’t have privacy. The “cost” of using it is losing some of that. If you don’t like it don’t use it.

april lee says:


YAHOO OFFICIALLY IS THE WORST SITE POSSIBLE. first the beautiful discussion boards are gone, they were fun and entertaining but nooooooo they had to censor and couldnt handle people talking. furthermore last week they cancelled my 360 blog with no explanation no NOTHING. THESE PEOPLE ARE DICK HEADS AND STUPID AT YAHOO. SERVICE SHOULD NOT WORK LIKE THIS. i removed them from my tool bar. these people are pure evil since blogs take time to develop, that is all i got to say DICKHEADS who ever is sitting on the yahoo committee.

so want to cancel your account put a couple of antiwar items in it, DICKHEADS WILL CANCEL IN NO TIME

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