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Parental Control Software Datamines Kids' Online Conversations 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-used-to-it-kids dept.
An AP report reveals that web-monitoring software from Sentry and FamilySafe, both developed by EchoMetrix Inc., is harvesting data from kids' online chats, trying to determine their opinions on games, movies, and music. The data is then sold to other companies for advertising purposes. "In June, EchoMetrix unveiled a separate data-mining service called Pulse that taps into the data gathered by Sentry software to give businesses a glimpse of youth chatter online. While other services read publicly available teen chatter, Pulse also can read private chats. It gathers information from instant messages, blogs, social networking sites, forums and chat rooms. ... Parents who don't want the company to share their child's information to businesses can check a box to opt out. But that option can be found only by visiting the company's Web site, accessible through a control panel that appears after the program has been installed. It was not in the agreement contained in the Sentry Total Home Protection program The Associated Press downloaded and installed Friday."
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Parental Control Software Datamines Kids' Online Conversations

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  • by El Jynx (548908) on Monday September 07, 2009 @10:19AM (#29339953)

    Yup, I think I do, yesss preciousss. Filthy nasssty antiprivacccccy dataminersessss! OUR precioussss!

  • by couchslug (175151) on Monday September 07, 2009 @10:59AM (#29340299)

    "Cue lawsuits as the wife starts getting targeted advertisements for 'hot sluts in your area' due to the husbands chatting habits..."

    Cue divorces as husbands start getting targeted advertisements for 'hot sluts in your area' displaying their wives.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @11:07AM (#29340369)

    Early results indicate that kids are pre-occupied with gayness (in an unfocussed and confused way)

    Well, to be fair, so is the entire Republican party.

    ...Further analysis reveals that Disney actors are hot, teachers aren't and swimming pools are responsible for most diseases.

    Don't be silly. Cooties are responsible for most illnesses. Boys get 'em from kissing girls. But, of course, only kids who are totally gay would be kissing girls. Ick!

    Of course, once you get above the 9-year-old demographic, the scientific consensus changes.

  • by JockTroll (996521) on Monday September 07, 2009 @11:46AM (#29340787)

    Children as half-employees and half-property? Speak for yourself. I think of them as half fuel and half dog food.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @12:25PM (#29341271)

    Actually, YOURS is the world's most insightful post.

  • by koshatul (198070) on Monday September 07, 2009 @07:06PM (#29344849) Homepage

    But companies do receive snippets of actual chats. How do they ensure that doesn't contain anything that is personally identifiable?

    That sounds like alot of coding and work, isn't it easier just to get full transcripts and sort it out later ?

    Denial: They wouldn't do anything like that to you.
    Anger: It's your fault for not reading the EULA.
    Barganing: How else can they make ends meet in this economy, you need the software, they need the data.
    Depression: (actually, isn't the economy heading for one now ?)
    Acceptance: Oh well, all hail our new child protection overlords.

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.

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