It Pays To Read License Agreements
I think I read one of the first Microsoft EULA (End-User Licensing Agreement) sometime in the late 80’s, but I’ve never read one since. Well, I guess PC Pitstop decided to make it worth your while to read their EULA. The included a clause in it that basically said, “Send us an email, we’ll send you a prize.” One lucky reader actually read the EULA, sent the email and got a check for $1000!
There point, and it’s a good one, is that you should read the EULA for any product you’re going to install on your computer. While PC Pit stop’s EULA surprise was a pleasant one, many of the clauses hidden in other companies software is not so beneficial. In many cases you’re giving the company the right to collect personal information, download additional software, modify your browser, or just plain do almost anything they want.
Hmmm, I wonder what Reed Freeman of Claria would have to say about this (see my last post). I’m not going to be installing anything that uses a Claria product any time soon, but I’m sure their EULA makes for some interesting reading.
Yes, EULA’s make for boring reading. Yes, they’re written in legalese and impossible for the average person to read. But occasionally they contain surprises we should be aware of, both positive and negative. Usually negative.
Adware maker joins federal privacy board | CNET News.com
D. Reed Freeman, an executive of Claria has been named as a member of the Homeland Security privacy board. Just in case you don’t know who Claria is, try the name Gator. The were one of the first of the pop-up, pop-under ad companies, probably best known for their inclusion with the free version of Kazaa.
I would agree that Claria, as a company, is an expert in privacy. But their expertise is on how to compromise your privacy, not protect it. This is like hiring a hacker to secure your network. On the other hand, there will be nineteen other members of the board, so hopefully the impact of Claria will be fairly minor. I just don’t see how a company as small as Claria fits in with the likes of IBM, Oracle and Intel. At least Microsoft doesn’t have a representative. Yet.
The CISSP and SSCP Open Study Guides Web site – (ISC)?? ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT OF CEO
Jim Duffy is retiring as President of the ISC^2. I’ve been a CISSP for 2.5 years now, I’ve met Mr. Duffy once and he seemed to be a nice guy, but dialogue with his constituency did not seem to be his strong point. When I met him, I brought up several points that were burning up the CISSP mailing list, and while he appeared to listen, I never got the impression that anything I was saying was actually being heard. He has done a lot of work for the ISC^2, and has taken it from a volunteer-led group to a professionally managed company, but I think it was at the expense of communication between the company and the people they serve. ISC^2 currently seems to be concentrating almost entirely on creating new CISSP’s rather than helping the ones that already exist. We’ll see if a new CEO changes this.
Of course, my opinions are mostly based on reading the CISSP forums, which are admittedly biased and vocal. But the only other communications I’ve received from ISC^2 have either been telling me to pay my dues or asking me to sign up for expensive classes to get my education credits. Heck, I don’t even see too many of those any more, since my mail client classifies anything from them as spam. I’m waiting to see what direction a new CEO will take the ISC^2 in. The next few months should be interesting.