Important Privacy Notice for Yahoo! Users

I just got this from one of my Linux mailing lists.

Yahoo is now using something called “Web Beacons” to track Yahoo Group users around the net and see what you’re doing – similar to cookies. Take a look at their updated privacy statement.
About half-way down the page, in the section “Outside the Yahoo! Network”, you’ll see a little “click here” link that will let you opt-out of their new method of snooping. You may want to do this. Once you have clicked that link, you are opted out.
Notice the “Success” message at the top of the next page. Be careful, because on that page there is a “Cancel Opt-out” button that, if clicked, will *undo* the opt-out.
Sneaky little devils!

I strongly suggest that if this applies to you, you opt-out. Where you go and what you do online is your business, not Yahoo’s.

94 thoughts on “Important Privacy Notice for Yahoo! Users”

  1. Whoa!
    It’s bad enough that my grocery store is tracking my purchases, isn’t anyplace safe?
    Thanks for the heads up, Wil!

  2. I’m getting really tired of folks being all that interested in what I look at online. I’m not a demographic.
    How’s the hair holding up, by the way, Wil?

  3. *****************************************************
    Did you guys notice that the opt-out thing only works for one particular browser/computer? It doesn’t go by user… so if you use more than one broswer or computer, make sure you opt out for all of them!!!

  4. Every one is trying to find out what we do all day, my question is what do this companies do all day? I mean track millions of people as they surf the web and type out emails?

  5. I’m having trouble finding what you’re talking about, Wil…(at the risk of sounding stupid)is this when one uses Yahoo as a search engine? If so, I just looked and couldn’t find it. : (
    Hope I’m not being snooped on…
    Take care,

  6. Thank you very much for the warning! Looks like “Big Brother” is rearing his head more and more frequently.

  7. Looks like it’s a cookie access thing… the question is, if you delete your cookies does it start all over again? What about browsers like Netscape that can be set to delete cookies on exit or to not allow access to cookies or to block cookies all together?

  8. Grrr, snarl, froth et cetera.
    It’s not so much what I might be browsing (though I’m half tempted to run up a little bandwidth browsing, oh I don’t know, sheep-breeding websites just the blow their demographic) it’s the principle of the thing.
    Thanks for the heads-up on this one. Remember kids, 2003 if “Informational Hygeine” year!

  9. That stuff concerns me but….
    how do they filter the sheer volume of info that comes in. Even the NSA, which is the biggest brother in the world, cant cope with the amount of intel they recieve.

  10. That stuff concerns me but….
    how do they filter the sheer volume of info that comes in. Even the NSA, which is the biggest brother in the world, cant cope with the amount of intel they recieve.

  11. Thanks so much for the heads-up! I don’t think I would have ever known about that had I not read your site…. Which actually leaves me feeling seriously queasy.
    Thanks again!

  12. As some people know, I run a cybercafe.
    The sort of thing that Yahoo is doing just burns my butt. Isn’t it enough that I have to run @#~%$! antivirus, AD-Aware and a customs hosts file to stop snooping, now I have to put up with those farkin yahoos.
    I have hated Yahoo with a passion for about 4 years when they decided that I was a minor BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A CREDIT CARD to prove otherwise. Assholes. So, what did they do? Cancelled my yahoo account in the name of protecting CHILDREN. And, do you think that they responded to ANY of my emails protesting this? NO.
    Also, WHAT THE HELL DOES A CREDIT CARD have to do with your AGE?
    Scumbags. Freaks. Goofs. Bastards. Anyone care to add to my list of epithets, feel free!

  13. ‘Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.’
    Sorry to be a paragraph hog, just thought a little excerpt from “1984” would be appropriate here. Looks like Orwell was about 20 years off…

  14. Thank you Wil! I was OK when Yahoo swallowed my ISP (Prodigy), but now I’m seriously rethinking my decision to stay with them. In the meantime I’ll opt out of their snoop program. Goddamn bastards.

  15. Bastards!
    I *almost* pressed the “cancel opt-out” button, even if I knew to look for it! }8-(
    Thanks for the heads up

  16. Yeah, Web Beacons are also part of MSN’s terms of service as well, but oh, I could go on for a long, long time about MSN’s Privacy Evils.

  17. Thanks Wil
    That cancel option was quite sneaky, thats the way most sites put there ‘return’ to the previous screen button, I almost clicked the darn thing out of reflex! Then I remembered what you said!

  18. I remember them doing something like this a couple of years ago when they first aquired
    ty wil for telling me they are doing it again.
    I hate yahoo with a passion. and what was behind their decision to get rid of the frames in yahoo mail?

  19. actually I noticed I was opt-out’d already. So if you did the Opt-out thing about 3 years ago then your fine.
    This isnt new for yahoogroups. They’re still mean.

  20. The way I read this is that if you don’t accept HTML mail from them (and HTML in mail is an abomination) they can’t track you anyway.

  21. Thanks for passing that on, Wil.
    My school can’t hurry up fast enough in getting its own server so we don’t need Yahoo for our teacher accounts anymore…

  22. It’s not just “sneaky.”
    Malevolent, perverse, par for the course.
    All you fuckers, young and old, black and white, male and female, conservative and neo-conservative, need to understand that we are at fucking war.
    I am not joking.
    The corporations are slowly, methodically, inexorably eliminating every avenue of egress. Your government is no longer yours. It’s not about whether you have to endure commercials on your Tivo-ed copy of “American Idol” or whether Yahoo spams your mail account.
    Enterprise? Two Towers? NFL? Buffy?
    Fuck that and fuck you.
    Your children are going to demand an account of what you were doing in those critical years when all global information fell under the control of a half dozen corporations.

  23. Thanks, Wil. My husband doesn’t care as much about what I do online as Yahoo apparently does. Bastards.

  24. This is nothing new. Every major web site has been doing this ever since cookies were invented. Yahoo is just one of the first to let you opt-out.

  25. *Dons tin hat*
    Thank-god for not using Yahoo.
    *Starts lift down to bunker*
    See you in a few years…

  26. Thanks Wil,
    This is probably the 3rd time since I’ve had to go in and “fix” my privacy options with Yahoo. I like how they create new options and opt us in without letting us know…

  27. Uncle Willy may know all, but Yahoo deserves to know Jack Shit about what I do on my computer. Can you say invasion of privacy?

  28. I heart you Uncle Willie. :) Thank you so much for the heads up on thos bastards.
    I’m also glad you liked the photoshop we did last night.

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