Saturday, May 07, 2005

Spitzer is just warming up

After the vein in my forehead stopped visibly throbbing and I reflected further on my post about Eliot Spitzer, I began to wonder if I had been too forgiving of Intermix, the agency Spitzer has sued for illegal spyware use. Then I read this, an article enchantingly titled "Who Will Eliot Spitzer Sue Next?" (reg. req.) In it, author Mark Naples reveals that Spitzer is not really so concerned about your privacy after all:

"[T]his is not a privacy lawsuit...It's more of a disclosure lawsuit, which is why so many people in the privacy community have been scratching their heads about it. See, Intermix's disclosure language is almost identical to the disclosure language of just about every other company in their space. So, why go after Intermix? If the attack is on spyware, why not go after a range of companies that have similar business practices? 'It's a warning shot across the bow to the entire industry,' said Eric Howes of Spyware Warrior....'What he's doing here is more about establishing his authority.'"

Spitzer, a consumer rights poseur? That's hardly surprising. But this might be:

"[T]ake a moment to discern who his office will be targeting next. Some industry-watchers are speculating that it could be Yahoo!, since many adware companies leverage what used to be Overture keyword buys. After all, what Spitzer's office calls 'affirmative consent' is what people in our industry used to call 'opt-out.'"

A battle with Yahoo! is just the thing to keep the pre-gubernatorial hype going. All while making online commerce not safer, only more cumbersome. Can I move to New York just to vote against this guy?

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