Jan 232010
 
 January 23, 2010  Online

Larry Seltzer writes:

Privacy researcher and Harvard Business School Professor Ben Edelman has written a report on the practices of the Upromise Toolbar, called TurboSaver by the company.

Upromise is a membership system through which you can earn money for college savings by buying items from certain vendors through Upromise. The toolbar facilitates this in your browser and tracks user behavior.

Edelman found, by logging packets as he used the software, that the TurboSaver logs your behavior and data in excruciating detail, then transmits all that detail to a third party (Compete Inc.) for analysis. The Upromise license (click the nearby image for a full-size view of what users see) does not disclose accurately what the toolbar does.

Read more on PC Mag.

Less than 24 hours after Edelman posted his findings Upromise responded:

Upromise has announced that they moved immediately to address the privacy problems identified by Ben Edelman yesterday in their toolbar, TurboSaver.

[…]

They say they have disabled the functionality identified by Edelman and are working with Compete, the vendor who received and analyzed the data sent by the toolbar, to address the situation.

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