November 24th

Delicious, by Avos Systems, Inc.

URL for the home page

On this page the product is described as “Never lose a link again. Delicious is a free and easy tool to save, organize and discover interesting links on the web.”

This sounds like something I would find useful, personally and professionally. It’s the free part that gives me pause. What’s the catch? How can this tool afford to be free?

Privacy policy

We are assured that Avos Systems, Inc. takes privacy seriously. Some services do not require registration with certain services require the user to create an account and provide some personal information. There is some information which will be publicly available, such as the user’s name. The purpose for collection personal information is described as “We will also use your Personal Information to contact you with Delicious newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to you.” For those who do not register, no personal information will be collected.

Non-personally identify information will also be used for registered users. “We may also use the combination of your Personal and Non-Identifying information without aggregating it to serve you specifically, for instance to deliver a product to you according to your preferences or restrictions.”

Not only does Delicious use cookies, it also uses pixel tags. The rationale for this is “Pixel Tags allow us to count the number of Delicious Users who have visited certain pages of the Site, to deliver branded services and to generate statistics about how our Site is used.” Cookies I can deal with, but pixel tags do not make me feel warm and fuzzy.

Non-identified user data is collected and “aggregated or non-aggregated formats with third parties for industry analysis, demographic profiling and other purposes.” It is the other purposes that bothers me. Avos is quite clear that they do share certain personal information.

Provision is made for registered users to alter or delete their personal information. “We will use commercially reasonable efforts to honor your request. We may retain an archived copy of your records as required by law or for legitimate business purposes.” I would like to see legitimate business purposes defined and/or described.

In case of breach of security, registered users will be advised of such breach with what appears to be reasonable action. The policy is realistic in that it says that it cannot guarantee privacy 100%. They outline how they protect security, and the method seems reasonable. This is a free service after all.

The “International Transfer” clause is a bit worrying. As a Canadian, my personal data will be sent to the United States, which negates privacy.

If Avos changes terms and conditions of usage, they advise that they will advise their users before making changes, allowing feedback. This seems reasonable.

Terms of Service

These are clearly outlined in plain English. When one uses Delicious, one does not relinquish ownership.

About the company

Avos, Inc.

The company is co-founded by the same people that gave us YouTube. They are “backed by Google Ventures, Innovation Works, Madrone Capital and New Enterprise Associates.” They took a product that was originally Yahoo’s and made it over.

Chad and Steve state “Our goal is to create products that are fun, intuitive and simple so everyone can enjoy.” them. Free is not mentioned. When I see Google I get a bit nervous.

About the product itself

The product is described as “a free service designed with care to be the best place to save what you love on the web. We keep your stuff safe so it’s there when you need it – always. Delicious remembers so you don’t have to.” How altruistic beneficent this sounds.

FAQS page

The wording seems plain and clear. Unlike Twitter, there is email support. It is important to read this page, as under certain circumstances items are imported as Public.

Tomorrow I will set up an account and give the software a test drive. The risk seems minimal, as long as the sites that I want to keep track of are not too personal in nature.



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