Our Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
September 10, 2004
InfoAve Premium Edition Newsletter
Who Can You TRUSTe?
While looking through some forums
the other night we came across some interesting entries. There were people writing posts
that said that this program or that program were not spyware because they had the TRUSTe
So, we decided to check it our for
ourselves to see exactly how much we could trust TRUSTe. The first place we went was to "Hotbar" (a TRUSTe licensee).
I’m sure many of
you who’ve been reading our newsletters for very long know how we feel
about "Hotbar". And, some of you are aware that "Hotbar" has threatened
legal action against us. Just to be "fair and balanced" we did a search
on Google for "Hotbar and we found 39 pages of search results. At
the end of this article we a link to the search results. Feel free
to check them out or do your own search.
"Hotbar" says theyre not
spyware. Their 4400+ word "Hotbar" EULA is an magnificent masterpiece of
to see what TRUSTe had to say about spyware. So we visited their bustling little hive of a
Web site and sure enough we find that TRUSTe is firmly entrenched in the war on spyware!
They quote an entire anti-spyware article from GetNetWise (http://www.getnetwise.com). You can
see it for yourself on the TRUSTe Web site: http://www.truste.org/articles/preventing_spyware.php
"Hotbar" is an TRUSTe
That means they meet TRUSTe standards for protecting your privacy. Yet hundreds, perhaps
thousands of technical, anti-spyware, government, college, and educational sites say that
"Hotbar" is spyware. TRUSTe is against spyware. Are you starting to see something wrong with
this picture? Heres what TRUSTe says about "Hotbar":
confirms that Hotbar.com, Inc. ("Hotbar") is a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy Program.
TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to build users' trust
and confidence in the Internet by promoting the principles of fair information practices.
Because "Hotbar" is committed to respecting and protecting your privacy, we have agreed to
disclose our information practices and have our privacy practices reviewed and audited for
compliance by a third-party auditor at the direction of TRUSTe. These TRUSTe principles
apply to personally identifiable information gathered on "Hotbar" Web site. This privacy
statement will inform all visitors to our Web site regarding:
- What personally identifiable information we collect/use
about you on this Web site
- What we do with personally identifiable information we
collect/use on this Web site
- Whether any of your personally identifiable information
will be shared with any third party
Questions regarding this
statement should be directed to the "Hotbar" site coordinator at
or TRUSTe at http://www.truste.org/users/users_watchdog.html
We think its a shame when
companies like TRUSTe, who are in the business of trust and protecting consumers, bestow
their seal on companies like "Hotbar". These companies then hide behind that seal of trust.
In our opinion, "Hotbar" uses the TRUSTe seal to lure innocent and unsuspecting consumers
into a tangled Web of questionable, ever-expanding list of "free"
products. We have personally seen the problems "Hotbar" can cause.
If you cant trust TRUSTe who
can you trust? Sorry TRUSTe, you have lost our trust....and respect.
Smileycons | Email
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