Why I still don’t trust Alexa

So I was reading an e-mail newsletter and low and behold it suggested I visit and download the new Alexa browser toolbar with a pop-up blocker…wow a pop-up blocker… a little late to this party, no?

Well, I remembered the small huff that Alexa got into and noticed that the most troubling of all is their Privacy Policy which still creeps me out. Right at the top (in unreadable ALL CAPS…ugh)

…COLLECTS AND STORES INFORMATION ABOUT THE WEB PAGES YOU VIEW, THE DATA YOU ENTER IN ONLINE FORMS AND SEARCH FIELDS, AND, WITH VERSIONS 5.0 AND HIGHER, THE PRODUCTS YOU PURCHASE ONLINE WHILE USING THE TOOLBAR SERVICE. ALTHOUGH ALEXA DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO ANALYZE WEB USAGE DATA TO DETERMINE THE IDENTITY OF ANY ALEXA USER, SOME INFORMATION COLLECTED BY THE TOOLBAR SERVICE IS PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE.

So, Alexa/Amazon learns everything about my online experience in exchange for a pop-up blocker? Don’t have to think to long on that one. Especially since Amazon can’t even get my preferences correct

Further down the page the atrocities continue:

WHEN YOU PERFORM SEARCHES USING THE SEARCH FUNCTION AVAILABLE ON ALEXA’S TOOLBAR SERVICE SOFTWARE VERSION 6.5 AND HIGHER OR ON THE ALEXA WEBSITE, YOU OFTEN WILL BE TAKEN TO A WEBSITE DETAIL PAGE AT AMAZON.COM. IF YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNT ON AMAZON.COM AND AN AMAZON.COM COOKIE ENABLED, YOUR SEARCH RESULTS WILL BE TRANSMITTED TO AND LOGGED BY AMAZON.COM AND MAY BE CORRELATED BY AMAZON.COM WITH ANY PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION YOU MAY HAVE PREVIOUSLY PROVIDED TO AMAZON.COM.

So, count me out of that download..there’s more than enough spyware, spoof websites and e-mails to dodge.



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Rob Ainbinder

Rob is an SEO and Marketing strategist, creator, writer, entrepreneur, blogger, Dad and husband. He is also the author of “Mastering Google Keep”. In his spare time, Rob enjoys completing home improvement projects, crafting barbeque and cheering on the New England Patriots. Rob lives with his family (Wife, our teenage daughter, and dog Lilly) in Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem area of North Carolina.

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