Author Topic: viewpoint/viewpoint manager  (Read 8642 times)

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Yinyang4evry1

  • Guest
viewpoint/viewpoint manager
« on: November 04, 2005, 10:57:43 PM »
i did a google search and viewpoint/viewpoint manager looks pretty legitimate but is it spyware? because i just noticed on my computer today...

thanks
tim =)

XtremeKirby

  • Guest
Re: viewpoint/viewpoint manager
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2005, 11:34:46 PM »
I think Viewpoint Manager is bundled with AOL Instant Messenger in order to use those "Super Buddy Icons" that interacts with your instant messages. I had it on my Control Panel a while ago, but ever since I uninstalled AIM, it wasn't there anymore.

Quote
i did a google search and viewpoint/viewpoint manager looks pretty legitimate but is it spyware?
I doubt it's spyware. It's just a media player sort of stuff to play those "Super Buddy Icons." It doesn't seem like it runs in memory either, but there are options to enable/disable update checks via control panel. But still, it never seem to run anyways. But, it is still advisable to stay caution just in case.  ;)

Thanks.

Yinyang4evry1

  • Guest
Re: viewpoint/viewpoint manager
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2005, 11:41:45 PM »
thnx

feel better now...

tim =)

Spiritsongs

  • Guest
Re: viewpoint/viewpoint manager
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2005, 08:28:21 AM »
 :) The Nov 4, 2005 edition of Spyware Weekly Newsletter :
    "Viewpoint To Track Browsing, Serve Ads

Years ago, I wrote about a mysterious media player that I had discovered on my computer, the Viewpoint Media Player. I didn't pay much attention to it at the time.

Months later, someone called it spyware on the message board. I decided to do a little investigating at that point. After tracking down Viewpoint's web site and finding their privacy policy, I was inclined to agree with the opinion of that person on my message board.

To hear Viewpoint describe the program, it is nothing to worry about. They describe it as a browser plug-in to play multimedia embedded into web pages, little different from Flash or Java. Reading the privacy statement led me to a much different conclusion.

When I tried to find a current privacy policy for Viewpoint software, all I could find was a policy covering their web site. Their software privacy policy that I found two years ago disclosed some very disturbing behavior about the software. It set a unique tracking ID number, updated itself automatically, tracked what the plug-in was displaying, the address of the page with the embedded Viewpoint content and how the person interacted with it.

None of the legitimate plug-ins do that. Macromedia does not know when my browser sees flash on a web page. Sun does not receive reports when a Java applet is loaded. Microsoft is not informed when Internet Explorer runs an ActiveX applet. Why does Viewpoint need to track all of that?

After some digging, I discovered that this thing was installed alongside AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). I didn't remember agreeing to install a media player or browser plug-in when I installed AIM months earlier. I downloaded the current AIM installer, as well as an older installer for the version I once installed. I installed both of them on a test computer and read every word of every agreement. The word "Viewpoint" was nowhere to be seen.

To make things worse, the AIM program later was redesigned. Not only did it install this software without permission, it also reinstalled it if you removed it! A large number of people reported this at the message board.

I just performed a quick test and found that AIM STILL installs Viewpoint and STILL doesn't disclose it. The only improvement that I can see compared to a year ago is that it did not reinstall Viewpoint after I removed it from add/remove.

The reason that I bring all of this up again is the following announcement from Viewpoint: they intend to start serving advertisements through the software. According to this article, "It will work by collecting clickstream data on users who have installed the Viewpoint media player, then using that data to target ads and content on the company's partner sites.".

Putting that into plain language, it means that Viewpoint's software will track your web surfing and tailor advertisements based on the web pages you are visiting.

Is the Viewpoint Media Player spyware? Read my definition of spyware, then read the definition published by the Antispyware Coalition. I will let you draw your own conclusion. The answer to that question, at least to me, seems to be very obvious. "

  Sounds likes something I do NOT want on my computer !!!!





 

Yinyang4evry1

  • Guest
Re: viewpoint/viewpoint manager
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2005, 05:14:55 AM »
yea seems like spyware to me im gonna uninstall and see what goes..

thanks for that bit,
tim  ;D