Feeds

Google revives discredited Microsoft privacy policy for Friendster clone

Do no evil. Rrrright

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Can you trust Google's Friendster clone Orkut? The search engine behemoth certainly has ambitious plans for your innocent musings. And be careful about any business ideas you express there.

The privacy policy, which fades beautifully into view, looks innocent enough. But Orkut's terms of service harbor a nasty payload -

"By submitting, posting or displaying any Materials on or through the orkut.com service, you automatically grant to us a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicenseable, transferable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to copy, distribute, create derivative works of, publicly perform and display such Materials."

It's startlingly similar to the Microsoft Passport Terms which caused a storm of outrage two years ago, a reader points out.

Here's the old Passport policy:

By posting messages, uploading files, inputting data, submitting any feedback or suggestions, or engaging in any other form of communication with or through the Passport Web Site ... you are granting Microsoft and its affiliated companies permission to:

1. Use, modify, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, publish, sublicense, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any such communication.

2. Sublicense to third parties the unrestricted right to exercise any of the foregoing rights granted with respect to the communication.

3. Publish your name in connection with any such communication."

Microsoft was forced to amend the terms five days after our first story, amidst threats of defections.

On a parallel theme, Jeremy Zawodny - a software developer who works for rival Yahoo! (which has its own dubious privacy practices) - is nevertheless correct when he observes that Orkut provides the missing link for Google's marketeers.

"If you've been thru the Orkut registration process, you know that it attempts to collect a ton of data about you. The kind of demographic data that marketing folks drool over. And right now there are lots of folks dying to get that special invite and begin the sign-up process," he wrote here last week.

Orkut's cookie now nests cosily alongside Google's cookie, set to expire in 2038, which in itself suggests that Google plans to be in the data mining business for a very long time.

However it's the cloning of the notorious MSN Passport conditions that strikes us as a fascinating comparison in trust.These days, you only have to tell people you'll do no evil and they'll believe you.

Don't you love the way that Privacy Policy fades into view, just as your privacy fades out of sight? ®

Bootnote: We're assured that because Orkut runs on Microsoft® Windows™, there will be no security issues. Good choice.

Related Link

All your data belong to Orkut

Related Stories

All your data (and biz plans) are belong to Microsoft
Microsoft alters Passport Terms to stem Hotmail defections
How Reg reader outrage prompted Microsoft's Passport volte-farce
Microsoft excludes world+dog from Passport climb-down
Drop MS Passport, advises Gartner
Microsoft opts Passport holders into spam hell
Yahoo! Rips! Up! Privacy! Policy!

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.