Copyright © 1999 - 2004, Sandra Hardmeier, All Rights Reserved Worldwide
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As at 28 February 2004, Yahoo was planning to launch a (beta) search toolbar
with a new feature that they have labelled 'anti-spy'.
I downloaded this facility to check it out, and had a close look at the EULA.
I discovered a classic case of the wolf guarding the sheep.
The Yahoo toolbar, as it stands at the date of this article, can be classified as spyware and adware. Some snippets from the Licence Agreement follow:
The Yahoo toolbar can be classed as adware...
"Yahoo! collects information regarding your use of the features on the Yahoo! Toolbar. >From time to time, some menu item buttons may be used to advertise or promote products and services...." [Note, the caret > is copied directly from their Licence Agreement]
The Yahoo toolbar is behaving just like spyware and adware...
"The Yahoo! Toolbar contains a search box that returns search results pages in response to queries that you may enter. All queries that are submitted by you through the search box are transmitted to and collected by Yahoo!. Search results pages will often contain advertising in the form of sponsored search results, banner advertisements or other promotions. Advertising shown to you on the search results pages may be related to the search query you entered...."
Are you at least 18 years old? If not, you can't use the Yahoo toolbar:
"By accepting the terms of this Agreement, you represent to Yahoo! Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, "Yahoo!") that you are at least 18 years old...."
And, it seems to may not always be free:
"...Yahoo! reserves the right to charge fees for future use of or access to the Yahoo! Software in Yahoo!'s sole discretion...."
I see no reason why Yahoo should be treated any differently to any other adware or malware that it out there that tracks user's behaviour and uses said behaviour to target advertisements.
There is other software out that that protects user's computers *without* generating ads or reporting on user's activities. Spybot S&D includes an immunise feature. AdAware Professional version also has protective abilities. Neither programme reports back to its owners, or generated targeted advertising.