EULA Madness Tinko Pal Revisited With Commentary

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I am really ready to start tackling EULAs, so to kick things off I am revisiting a piece I did on the TinkoPal EULA months ago. Take a close look as I highlight some of the language and conditions you would accept in this EULA. For added value my comments will be in bold text surrounded by parentheses and are not a part of the EULA.

TinkoPal EULA Page: http://www.tinkopal.com/terms.html
Note: The original EULA is longer valid at this URL.

** Flesch Grade: 22 = Beyond Twelfth Grade Reading Level. I mention this because part of the analysis strategy we have put into place at Facetime Security Labs is EULA dissection. I promise much more to come on that soon! In this case to receive your Tinkopal and whatever might come along with it (the world is full of surprises) the agreement you accept is well beyond the 12th grade reading level. I hope you have a college degree handy.

In this EULA there are some interesting clauses that might surprise the user if not read carefully. Here are a few reasons people don't seem to care for the after effects of an adware install- especially in the Enterprise environment. This agreement (which again requires the equivalent of a college degree to truly understand it) is patently ridiculous and potentially dangerous because it grants the company the ability to upload arbitrary code. Our advice is to avoid the application completely.

Let's take a deep dive and look at some key aspects of this EULA.

Once again- my comments will be in bold text surrounded by parentheses and are not a part of the EULA.

Sentence 5: By accepting to download the TinkoPal you are also accepting that TinkoPal may also deliver to you advertisements. (So if you take the download you can expect advertisements- you don't know what kind or where, only there will be advertisements.)

Sentence 6: The timing, frequency, placement and extent of advertising is subject to change and shall be determined by TinkoPal at its sole discretion. (You might get one ad a day, or you might get a hundred ads a day- it is entirely up to them.)

Sentence 7: TinkoPal may from time to time, at its sole discretion, provide automatic upgrades to the Software through electronic dissemination and other means to add capabilities, functionality, or enhancements and may also include third party applications with its upgrades. (This is a deal killer- Tinkopal is basically saying they can upload third party applications to your machine with an "upgrade"- what kind of applications? You don't know.)

Sentence 26: Modifications of Agreement TinkoPal may modify this Agreement or the Software or Services provided at any time without providing notice to you. (Nice one- they can change, modify or do about anything they want, and they don't have to tell you about it. Completely absurd.)

Sentence 27: Such modification will be made by posting a revised agreement on its web site and such modification shall be deemed effective immediately upon posting of the modified Agreement. (Strange- if they do modify the agreement it is effective instantly upon posting the modified agreement which in the sentence above, they just told you they didn't have to tell you about.)

Sentence 35: Attached Files This Product contains and will install technology that enables third party companies, sponsors, advertisers or TinkoPal to deliver additional products or software applications to the End-Users' system. (OK pretty clear you will get technology that enables other companies, whoever they are, to deliver you even more products or applications that we really don't know anything about.)

Sentence 39: TinkoPal also includes thirdparty applications from our advertising partner (ABI NETWORK ADVERTISING SOFTWARE) Terms and conditions: http://www.abetterinternet.com/policies.htm 1. Acceptance of This Agreement - This End User License Agreement ("Agreement") is a contract between you ("you") and BetterInternet, LLC ("ABI") and governs your use of software downloaded from abetterinternet.com ("Software"). Please read the terms of this Agreement carefully before downloading, installing and using the Software. (This is one piece of good advice- read this masterpiece carefully because it is set up so that you lose in the deal.)

Sentence 40: This Software will collect information about websites you access and will use that information to display advertising on your computer. (Somehow I don't find this surprising; basically they will collect information about where you go so they can give you ads, wonder if they collect your secure banking URLS?)

Sentence 42: Moreover, the ads will appear while you are surfing the Web, not just when you use the Software. (This is a great added value. Not only do you get ads for using the software, you get them while you surf, and remember from the clause above we really don't know how many you are going to get. Pick a number- no wait they get to pick the number.)


Sentence 45: 2. Functionality - This Software delivers advertising as well as various promotional messages to your computer screen while you view Internet web pages. (We know that, but I am not sure what kind of advertising I am getting or exactly where or how these promotional messages are going to be delivered.)

Sentence 47: In addition, the Software may be bundled with or installed in connection with Promotional Applications (see Section 14 below for more information about Promotional Applications). By installing the Software, you understand and agree that the Software may, without any additional notice to you, perform the following: display pop-up ads and various other ad formats of third party advertisers; display links to and advertisements of related websites based on the information you view and the websites you visit; store non-personally identifiable information regarding your Internet browsing and usage habits; redirect certain URLs, including your browser's default 404-error page; provide advertisements, links or information in response to search terms you use at third-party websites; provide search functionality or capabilities. (Once again without ANY notice to you it can display pop-up ads and various other ad formats which we don't know about yet, display links and ads to others sites based on where you surf, record your usage habits and redirect certain web page addresses up to and including error pages...the list goes on, and you get the idea.)

Sentence 48: 3. Uninstall and Remove Software - You may uninstall the Software at any time by visiting www.mypctuneup.com. (This is absurd. You have to go a third party website to uninstall software. You can't simply delete it, nor can you use the standard Add/Remove programs.)

Sentence 49: Other attempts to uninstall the Software, such as via anti-spyware software, will not effectively uninstall the Software, and may result in the Software re-installing itself. (This is basically a clause for what in the anti-spy industry call a rescussitator file. This means if you don't remove it their way, they will re-install, even though you obviously don't want it anymore.)

Sentence 53: You agree not to initiate, permit, authorize or assist any third party or application to remove the Software from your computer, or disrupt its proper operation. (Once again you agree that you won't try to remove this file by any other means than by visiting their website so they can do it "right".)

Sentence 56: 4. Software updates - You understand and agree that ABI may, without providing additional notice to you: update the Software; install added features, functionality or additional software, including search clients, toolbars and shopping applications; install desktop icons and installation files; and install software from ABI affiliates (You see why I picked this EULA? Yet again they can load up your computer with icons, install files, search clients, shopping applications and you may get this from ABI affiliates- although you don't know who those affilates are. Wouldn't you want to know something about the company putting stuff on your personal computer?)

Sentence 74: However, the Software does collect certain types of non-personally identifiable information about individuals who install and use the Software. (What types? This makes me feel safe and comfortable.)

Sentence 86: You agree not to publicly disseminate performance information or analysis (including, without limitation, benchmarks) developed by you or obtained from any third party relating to the Software. (In essence you cannot publicly talk about how this application affects your machine, how it might slow it down, or your general experience using the software. In short- you aren't allowed to complain publicly.)

Sentence 93: 10. Indemnification - You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless ABI and its affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, information providers and licensors, from any claims, costs, losses, damages, judgments and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorney's fees and expenses, relating to or arising out of any breach of this Agreement or any use of the Software by you, or by any other person using the Software through you or using or accessing your computer.
(Wait a minute...you agree to defend them? Read this clause carefully. You are responsible if someone uses your machine with this software installed on it.)

Sentence 113: To protect ABI's systems and users, to ensure the integrity and operation of ABI's business and systems, or in response to subpoenas, court orders, or legal requirements, ABI may access and disclose any information that it considers necessary or appropriate, including IP addressing, traffic information and Web usage paths. (In short they can access any information they want to ensure the integrity and operation of their business.)

Sentence 114: By using the Software, you expressly consent to the foregoing use and disclosure. (If you use the software you agree to this wonderful pact.)

Sentence 115: 14. Promotional Applications - During the process of downloading and/or using the Software, you may also be offered the possibility to download software from third party software vendors pursuant to license agreements or other arrangements between such vendors and yourself ("Promotional Applications"). Please note that the Promotional Applications are subject to different license agreements or other arrangements, which you should read carefully. (While downloading this program you get the chance to download other programs that may have different license agreements than this one, although after reading this one I think you are playing a form of security Russian Roulette with your computer and privacy.)

Sentence 116: By downloading and using Promotional Applications, you accept such license agreements or other arrangements and acknowledge that you have read them and understand them. (But if you're bold enough to do it you agree that you have read them all and understand them. Keep that degree handy.)

Sentence 128: 17. Changes - ABI may change any of the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement, including the privacy policy referenced in Section 6 above, and other policies and guidelines governing the Software, at any time in its sole discretion. (Why am I not stunned? Once again ABI can change these policies and guidelines at any time and at their discretion. Does this seem fair to you?)

Sentence 129: Notices of material changes to this Agreement will be posted on ABI's website at www.abetterinternet.com when they become effective. (This is the equivalent of what they call A Better Internet?)

Not much needs to be said except read those EULAs, and if you see clauses like the ones above- avoid. That is of course if you get the chance to even read the EULA. Since this EULA was created it seems the domain has changed hands to a new party but it at one time did indeed belong to:

Organization:
BetterInternet
Reg Services
459 Broadway - 4th floor
New York, NY 10013
US
Phone: 646-613-0376

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This page contains a single entry by published on April 4, 2006 6:42 PM.

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