Watch Out, Some Parental Control Products Sell Your Private Info

Sep 09, 2009

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Associated Press recently released an article discussing how some internet filtering products actually gather and sell your private information.  In most cases, this includes, but is not limited to, private IM or Chat conversations and Internet browsing history.

“Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.

Although Net Nanny will capture and log conversations through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, parents have the option to enable/disable remote reporting.  If enabled, this data is encrypted and securely sent to our servers where only you can authorize access to that data. Net Nanny will never share your personal browsing history or children's IM (Instant Message) conversations with any third parties.  Net Nanny believes in keeping your family’s privacy secure.

In addition to avoiding companies that engage in the unauthorized selling of your personal Internet activities, you may want to watch out for Parental Control products that “data mine.  Data mining is the process of analyzing or gathering specific data, usually for the use of identifying customer interests and patterns.  Many software companies, including some parental control vendors, may be using your information for data mining.  It’s well known that many URL-based internet filtering companies will actually use your browsing history to help expand its constantly growing list of websites; unlike Net Nanny which uses dynamic contextual analysis.  Rest assured, Net Nanny will never share, sell, or disclose your personal information. We are in the business of keeping your family safe.