Have you heard these inane “Get Zwinky” commercials? The entire ad is animated figures and a repeated “get zwinky, get zwinky”. It truly makes me want to rectify the situation with a shotgun. What the heck is Zwinky?

I decided to find out. So I head over to Zwinky (using Sandboxie for protection), and I find that Zwinky is a toolbar. How nice, let’s see what features this toolbar offers. (I’m alreay biased, why do I need a toolbar? I don’t even use Google’s toolbar)

“Toolbar Features: Turn yourself into a 3D image!

“Bonus: Also includes Smiley Central™, Cursor Mania™, Popular Screensavers™, the MyWebSearch® search box and Search Assistant – relevant search results in response to incorrectly formatted browser address requests.”

ALARMS and SIRENS should be going off right now… Smileys, Cursors, Screensavers, CRAP… and to top it off? MyWebSearch searchbox. If you know anything about adware you are quite familiar with MyWebSearch. Adware purveyors extraordinare, I bet their EULA is interesting, let’s take a look.

Zwinky’s EULA

5. Privacy and Use of Data

No Spyware, No Adware. The MyWebSearch toolbar does not collect any personal information about you (such as your name, email address, etc.). Further, it does not: (a) collect or report back to us (or anyone else) any information about sites you visit on the Internet; (b) collect or “screen-scrape” any search queries or information that you provide to any other web-sites; (c) serve pop-ups when you are on other websites; or (d) collect or report back to us (or anyone else) any data regarding your computer keystrokes or other data unrelated to the services the Toolbar provides.

Search Queries. The MyWebSearch toolbar, in the course of processing a given search query, sends a request to our servers. This request includes the keyword query, time of day, browser type, default language setting, IP address, an anonymous unique ID, and a code which identifies the marketing or distribution source of the toolbar used by you to conduct your search. “

No Adware, give me a break. I’m surprised they didn’t claim to have the answer for peace in the Middle East. These guys are scum, their products are crap, and now they are marketing to kids. Wonderful.

2 responses to “Zwinky”

  1. miss_Sugarkiss says:

    Ugh, I could not agree more. I looked the site up out of curiosity and was rather disgusted to see they actually try to write off the bundled spy/adware as being bonuses. And to market to young teens/tweens no less.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The bit I love about it is that if you follow some of their links (like to the Zwinky part of their terms and conditions – “that are separate”), then they explicitly state that its adware. And that they will record information on an anonymous and personal level.
    I’ve just banned my daughter from installing it – especially as Zone alarm throws up lots of red warning messages…..
    Thanks for the post, it was very useful.

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