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08/31/2005 Archived Entry: "Yahoo, web beacons, and your privacy"

YAHOO IS USING WEB BEACONS TO TURN YOU INTO A MARKETING GUINEA PIG. I received the following forwarded message from C^2 this morning. Please note that the original author is slightly misleading on two counts. First, this doesn't just appear to affect Yahoo group users, but anyone who visits Yahoo or receives HTML-formatted emails that originated with Yahoo. (Although those who've registered and given true personal information to Yahoo will be the worst compromised.) Second, your opt-out (process described below) applies only to the browser you're currently using. You must do a separate opt out for each browser you use.

So (while I'm experiencing another miracle moment in which my DSL connection is allowing me to upload), here's the news:

I belong to Ring of Fire, a computer security mailing list. This bone chiller came in my email inbox this morning. Figured I'ld spread the love.

Yahoo is now using something called "Web Beacons" to track Yahoo Group users around the net and see what you're doing and where you are going (similar to cookies). Yahoo is recording every website and every group you visit. Take a look at their updated privacy statement:


A little over half-way down the page, in the section on cookies, you will see a link that says "web beacons". Click on it to be taken to this page:

< href="http://privacy.yahoo.com/privacy/us/beacons/details.html" target="_blank">http://privacy.yahoo.com/privacy/us/beacons/details.html

That will bring you to the Web Beacons page. Look in the section "Outside the Yahoo! Network" (2nd one down). The last sentence in the last "bulleted" paragraph reads "Please click here to opt-out." - click where indicated to be brought to this page:


Once you have clicked that link (or visited the link above), you are exempted. (Notice the "Success" message at the top of the page.) Be careful because on that page there is a "Cancel Opt-out" button that, if clicked, will *undo* the opt-out. How thoughtful of them to include such an easy way to get back in, yet making getting out a 4 step process...

Feel free to forward this to other groups.

Posted by Claire @ 04:18 PM CST

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