Is Plaxo spyware?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by LuckMan212, Oct 6, 2006.

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  1. LuckMan212

    LuckMan212 Registered Member

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    I tried to revive the old thread about this but the forum said it was "too old to reply to" so I am starting a new one...

    Topic says it all. I have a few clients who refuse to Uninstall Plaxo even after I warned them of the possible security risk and potential for abuse. I am looking for some hard evidence that Plaxo data is abused and results in an increase in UCE/UBE/SPAM/etc. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

    I will admit products like Plaxo are very tempting, they have a nice slick website and the product is polished and integrates nicely with Outlook. But I am quite suspicious of any company willing to give something like this away for FREE. What are they getting out of it? Surely it must be more than just that "warm fuzzy feeling". :doubt:
     
  2. privacyguy

    privacyguy Registered Member

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    Luck - I'm the Chief Privacy Officer here at Plaxo. No, Plaxo is not spyware. Plaxo is an online contact management service used by over 15M users. We also have partnerships with companies like AOL, YouTube, mail.com, Jajah, and Zazzle that integrate Plaxo into their products and services.

    People use Plaxo to maintain and manage a centralized, self-updating address book. Plaxo also provides plug-ins and API access to then synchronized a user's centralized address book with various popular applications and services such as Outlook, Outlook Express, MAC, Thunderbird, AIM, Yahoo!, and wireless devices.

    We do not sell, share, or exchange any of a member's information. It is kept safe and secure, accessible only by the Plaxo member. You can think of managing information with Plaxo as similar to managing the same type of information within an online address book such as Yahoo!, but Plaxo also provides the added synchronization and automatic update capabilities not provided by anyone else.

    And simply because the basic Plaxo service is free should not be unusual. There are many free basic services, many of which store similar address book information (Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, etc...). The basic service helps us to build the Plaxo network (15M currently) and for users who wish greater capabilities for managing and accessing their centralized addressbook, they can upgrade to Plaxo Premium.

    It's nice to hear that we have strong supports such as a few of your clients. But should you have any further questions regarding Plaxo, please feel free to let me know.

    Stacy Martin
    privacy @t Plaxo.com
     
  3. LuckMan212

    LuckMan212 Registered Member

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    No offense, but as a high ranking employee of Plaxo, I would expect your opinion to be at least somewhat biased.
    What exactly does that mean? What sort of "services" do these companies integrate Plaxo into? These are not exactly companies that scream "privacy" and "security". When I think of AOL, YouTube, Zazzle, etc I think "SPAM". Not sure about anyone else.

    You mentioned that the Plaxo online storage of addresses is simlar to Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL, and again I will point out that these services are some of the leading resons people get spam in the first place.

    I would be most interested to hear some nonpartisan opinions.
     
  4. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    Is this a private conversation going on between 2 employees of a company called Plaxo?

    If it is, please communicate via PM.
     
  5. LuckMan212

    LuckMan212 Registered Member

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    I am most certainly not an employee of Plaxo. And this is definitely not a private conversation.
     
  6. phasechange

    phasechange Registered Member

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    So we have a suspicion on one side and a rebuttal on the other. So far we don't have any evidence of wrong doing so I am actually tempted to have a look at Plaxo.

    Privacyguy, what's your business model (in broad terms)? Is it licencing revenue, advertising, or what?

    Thanks,
    Phasechange
     
  7. Core

    Core Registered Member

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    Glad I ran across this, had to register just to reply to this...

    About 2 years ago I created 6 new email addresses, on 6 seperate domains owned buy me. Clean adresses, randomly generated that account name, 8-10 character alphanumeric, so there was nothing generic about them that should be picked up by spam bots using patterning techniques. I have forgotten specific account names used, but something along the lines of aylg2br4@mydomain.com, just nonsense.

    Those 6 addresses were then used to create accounts at Plaxo. The addreses were not used for anything else, and were never given out to friends/family/business associates... no one.....

    Within a 2 weeks, the spam was coming in hard and fast on all 6 accounts.

    I find it highly improbable that spambots worked out all 6 addresses. 1 maybe, 2 remotely possible but unlikely, but all 6? Give me a break..... they 'acquired' them somehow.... and if it was not from Plaxo, then someone hacked my servers and singled out those 6 particular accounts, that just happened to be given to Plaxo, and started spamming them.....

    Is my situation enough to be 'proof'? I doubt it, but to me, it's concrete, I would not use Plaxo, or ask my friends to do so, AOL now bundles Plaxo with their products... I no longer use AIM because it requires Plaxo to be installed along with it, even though it does not force you to use it, I don't want that software on my PC at all.
     
  8. LuckMan212

    LuckMan212 Registered Member

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    Thank you for the info. My suspicions were confirmed, and I can't say I'm the least bit surprised. :thumbd:
     
  9. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    It will be interesting to see if privacyguy comes back to this forum to address some of the legitimate concerns voiced here. My opinion is that we will not be hearing from privacyguy again. Also, I would be very suspicious of services like Plaxco that seem to be free.
     
  10. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

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    Hear Hear. :D
     
  11. LuckMan212

    LuckMan212 Registered Member

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    I don't understand why people are posting comments like this... as I said before this isn't a private conversation and I would think that it's to everyone's benefit to know more about this potential piece of spyware. Isn't this the forum for such a discussion? If you don't care to read about this topic, just ignore it. No need to clutter up the thread with useless posts like that. :doubt:
     
  12. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I agree, I didn't notice any private conversion either, after reading this thread.
     
  13. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    This thread is 6 MONTHS OLD!
     
  14. intsecguide

    intsecguide Registered Member

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    True, but if privacyguy is the Chief Privacy Officer for Plaxo, you'd think he would watch this thread for further replies. Nothing worse than having bad information out there about your company, unless of course the information is correct ;)

    Paul
     
  15. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    Why doesn't someone send privacyguy an email inviting him/her back to this thread?

    Stacy Martin
    privacy @t Plaxo.com
     
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