This week MacOS X security software vendor Intego reported that the PremierOpinion market research software has been ported to OS X and is being distributed alongside numerous free applications and tools the MacOS.
PremierOpinion is part of a subset of programs that security vendors and privacy advocates label as malware/adware/spyware despite the vendor itself insisting otherwise. The company behind the software says that it is merely a market research tool and that users are notified of the data-collecting behaviour when they read the terms and services.
Intego, however, says that the PremierOpinion software performs classic spyware actions such as scanning and reporting system contents and creating a remotely accessible 'back door' to systems on which it is installed. Additionally, the company reports that third party vendors are installing the software without user notification or with misleading language.
The situation is a familiar one- the software by itself is something no user wants to run on his or her computer, so the company has to bundle it with software that people actually want. Sometimes those affiliates aren't always so up front with users and covert means are used to install the application and collect the affiliate fee.
The name 'Zango' springs to mind. The advertising software vendor suffered similar charges throughout its decade-long run before shutting down last year amidst bankruptcy filings.
If you do have PremierOpinion software running on your Mac (it can be found in the Applications folder) and you want it out, you can run the included 'uninstall' program or just drag the application to the trash. Intego says that its security software prevents installation of the application as well.
And remember to always read the fine print on those end-user agreements.
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