Adware Firm Zango Shuts Doors
OPINION: The controversial firm spent 10 years abusing users, suing security companies, defending itself in the press and court, and breaking promises to everyone. Luckily, this chapter of the software industry is over.Contrary to rumors that it had been sold, Zango is now out of business. Some assets have been purchased by video search engine firm Blinkx, but the company itself has closed its doors. Formerly known as ePIPO, 180solutions and Hotbar, Zango pioneered many of the most intrusive advertising strategies on the Internet. Despite its insistence that they were legitimate advertisers and listened to their customers, the company never was able to escape its reputation for installing without permission, refusing to uninstall and never quite explaining what it was doing to the customer. It's not clear that, even in the end, it abandoned these abuses.
Ben Edelman, Harvard professor and spyware researcher, was one of those who brought Zango's practices to light: "Zango never offered anything sufficient to compensate users for Zango's substantial intrusion onto users' PCs." The price for such information should be high, but "the little trinkets and doodads Zango offered were not enough." Much of what the company offered in exchange was easily available elsewhere for free. It also had a habit of redistributing content to which it had no clear rights.
- Widespread Zango ActiveX Installations without Unavoidable, Prominent Disclosure of Material Terms (XP SP1 and Earlier)
- Widespread Zango Banner-Based Installations without Unavoidable, Prominent Disclosure of Material Terms (XP SP2)
- Ongoing Zango Installations with No Disclosure Whatsoever
- Unlabeled Zango Ads - Toolbars, Desktop Icons and Pop-Ups
- Zango Ads for Bogus Sites That Attempt to Defraud Users.