Turns out that these same sleazeballs also monitor your kids' IM sessions and sell the info to market-research companies that want to fine-tune how they sell sugar and explosions to kids.
Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats (via /.)
"This scares me more than anything I have seen using monitoring technology," said Parry Aftab, a child-safety advocate. "You don't put children's personal information at risk..."
EchoMetrix, formerly known as SearchHelp, said companies that have tested the chat data using Pulse include News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting and Dreamworks SKG Inc. Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures recently signed on.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.