Internet Explorer 6 Spyware -- Alexa Registry Key, Part 3

Dennis Faas's picture

I was fortunate enough to receive a message from the Product Manager of Alexa, Geoff Mack. His concerns were about our ongoing discussion of whether or not Internet Explorer contains Alexa Spyware. I'd like to take this time now to share his concerns. Geoff writes:

" Hello, My name is Geoffrey Mack, Product Manager at Alexa, an company. I am writing to disagree with your assertion that the Alexa Toolbar is spyware. First, it is helpful to define Spyware. The definition is here. In short, Spyware is:

  1. software that gets on your machine without your permission, and
  2. tracks your activity for no user benefit.

You'll find that the Alexa Toolbar, like the Google Toolbar, does neither of the above. Both the Alexa and Google Toolbars provide info as users surf and as a consequence of that functionality have a log of users' surfing activity. Both Alexa and Google strive to keep the identity of the users anonymous. Google uses the logs to feed to its search engine index. Alexa uses them to feed to its Related Links.

I realize there is a lot of hyperbole where Alexa is concerned, and in some circles, the conspiracy theorists have prevailed, due in no small part to Ad-Aware's efforts. But I would encourage you to rise above the fray and take an honest look. I think you'll find that the Alexa Toolbar is not Spyware any more than the Google Toolbar. "

I just want to clarify a statement that Geoff wrote. I never did "flat-out" state that there was in fact a Spyware component present in Internet Explorer. Yes -- I entertained the thought, but the majority of my sentiments were to outline "ways around" not using Alexa, if a user decided to do remove it from the Internet Explorer browser.

Well, anyway -- I appreciate Geoff writing in and expressing his opinions.

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