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Monday, September 07, 2009

Echometrix: Monitoring *and* selling kids' chat

With its Sentry Parental Control Software, Echometrix sells what kids say online in the name of protecting them. Once installed, Sentry – like other products in its category – monitors kids online activity and communications for risky speech and behavior and sends parents alerts upon detection. What isn't like most other such products is how the company packages the kid communications (in aggregate) into a product it sells to marketers, reports's Larry Magid in Echometrix CEO Jeffrey Greene, told Larry that "the company doesn't collect or report the names or any identifying information about the children" but "says that it delivers the unsolicited raw conversations in real time. It gives marketers immediate, unique information about what teens are saying in their own words." Here's how Echometrix describes itself in its blog: "a leading developer of opinion mining and sentiment analysis applications for user-generated digital social media content with specialty industry focus. We have specialized in delivering brand metrics, real-time business intelligence and consumer market research for the teenage consumer segment." See a detailed commentary on this in Amy Jussel's Shaping Youth blog. And here's the story in Yahoo Tech news .

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Blogger JOSE MARC said...

Children Need Protection from Protectors

The world has turned against its very future, as there is a growing need to protect children from their protectors. One of the clear examples of this violation of trust still being perpetrated upon children is done by the software firm Echometrix. The makers of the child protection programs named Sentry and FamilySafe are protecting your children from one online evil only to be served up on a platter to another evil.

What the program does is record the website activity of the children using the computer. This is a clear invasion of property as monitoring and selling information from children without parental consent is a violation of the law and a whole host of FTC guidelines. The names of these predatory programs include Sentry Total Family Protection, Sentry Basic, Sentry Lite and FamilySafe. The company is Echometrix and what the company does is gather the recorded data and sell these as marketing research information. Without any kind of consent obtained, the information gathered is illegally obtained information. In order to protect yourself and most especially your children, avoid purchasing the products made by Echometrix and advise others of the program’s unseen activities targeting your children.

8:55 PM  

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