And the notice and disclosure? Zero, by today’s standards. It’s buried in a massive EULA, as Harvard researcher Ben Edelman has confirmed independantly. We’re back to 2004 all over again.
Remember that almost two years ago, Zango trumpeted it’s new notice and disclosure, promising:
Now, apparently because this spam blocker is part of their “Hotbar” acquisition, that notice and disclosure is not required.
Zango has a real problem. By our own research, 80% of its business comes from seekmo, the porn side of its business. They need more “legitimate” customers but have an increasingly difficult time getting them. We believe that the company is having a very difficult time actually spending their ad dollars to promote their product, since so few sites will take on their ads.
And now, with Snopes no longer pushing a Zango ad, it’s even harder.
And, separately, Snopes responds:
Reader CD got a response from Snopes, which he reports as following:
Ok, I’ll give the Mikkelsons the benefit of the doubt. It’s possible that the advertisements we observed were based on geolocation, and it’s quite possible that the they never knew that the ad was pushing adware.
I wouldn’t stop using Snopes. It’s a good service. I’ll keep checking the site, but I really doubt you’ll ever see anything like this happen again.
However, one part of the strategy of the Antispyware Coalition to reform the business is “public shaming” — that is, to shine light on bad practices. Snopes has learned a hard lesson. They’ve stopped pushing these ads, and the internet community is a bit of a better place now.
And that, folks, is a good thing.