RealNetworks' Privacy Breach Forces Software Change

Share this content:
RealNetworks Inc., Seattle, issued a public apology this week acknowledging it had improperly gathered information over the Internet about consumers' listening habits through its RealJukebox software application. The company also issued a downloadable software fix it said prevents its product from further tracking and sending personal data from users' computer hard drives to the company's servers.

"When we really wrapped our minds around this, we became convinced that we screwed up," RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser said in a statement.

Dave Steer, a spokesman for privacy seal program TRUSTe, said his organization was "deeply concerned" but would continue working with RealNetworks to ensure it was properly abiding by its privacy policy.

Bruce Kasanoff, CEO of Accelerating1to1, a spin-off of customer relationship marketing company Peppers and Rogers Group, Stamford, CT, said Real Networks is a very sophisticated company that admitted its misstep. But he said far too many other companies don't have a handle on what they are doing.

"They're still saying to their customers, 'Just buy my product, don't talk back to me, just buy my product,' but a true one-to-one relationship doesn't necessarily mean supercharged advertising. It means recognizing that the customer may want you to do something differently."

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above