Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc. (MINDSPARK) is a part of the IAC family of businesses (www.iac.com), which includes Ask.com, iWon.com, Girlsense.com, Life123.com, Vimeo.com, Citysearch, Evite, Match.com, ServiceMagic, Gifts.com, Pronto, Shoebuy, College Humor, and many others.
At MINDSPARK, we understand that the strength of our company depends on the trust of our users, and we see consumer protection as a key practice through which we earn your trust.
MINDSPARK develops and distributes several downloadable software applications, including browser plug-ins that appear as toolbars within or attached to your Internet browser.
The following policy guidelines explain our general philosophies on a variety of important topics as they relate to our My Web Search® toolbar and FunWebProducts suite of websites and applications (which is comprised of Webfetti.com, SmileyCentral.com, CursorMania.com, Kazulah.com, PopularScreensavers.com, and Zwinky.com websites and related applications/services, plus the IWON.com sweepstakes and casual gaming portal (each, an “FWP Product” and collectively, the “FWP Products”). We want you to know where we stand on important issues such as privacy and downloadable software.
These guidelines address the following topics:
- Installer Programs
- Uninstall Practices
- Partner Practices
- Reporting Violations of the MyWebSearch toolbar and related FWP Products Downloadable Software Guidelines
- Consumer Protection
- Send us your Feedback
Certain of the FWP Products are governed by separate terms of service (TOS) and/or privacy policies. A list of FWP Products, together with links to their respective TOS and privacy policies may be found in the EULA.
"Adware" and "Spyware" are terms used to describe certain kinds of software applications:
Adware is a software program that specifically monitors a person's Web surfing and disrupts it by displaying contextual pop-up advertising. Spyware is a software program that surreptitiously tracks personally identifiable information about a person or organization. It will either save such information or send it to third parties when the person is connected to the Internet. Spyware is stealthy and may attach itself to a person's computer without his or her knowledge or consent. An example of spyware is a program that hijacks a person's modem to change dial-up numbers or a keylogger program that covertly records anything a person types, including passwords, emails and credit card numbers. The My Web Search toolbar and FWP Products do not engage in any of these activities and are not adware or spyware.
MINDSPARK believes in clear, concise and complete disclosure before you download and install our applications, including a description of the primary functions of the application. We believe that all language related to the My Web Search toolbar and FWP Products, whether appearing in the download process or otherwise, should be non-technical, easy-to-read and factually accurate, and not deceptive or misleading.
In addition to less-formal disclosures, all My Web Search toolbars and FWP Products are distributed with an End User License Agreement (EULA) that is readily accessible prior to installation. And in conjunction with these disclosures, MINDSPARK requires the consent of the user prior to installation.
MINDSPARK does not believe that users should be deceived into downloading or installing our software and condemns deceptive software installation practices. Such practices include, but are not limited to:
- "Forced" or "Drive-By" Downloads: this is a practice where a program is downloaded and installed onto a user's computer without the user's permission, and often without the user's knowledge. Malicious Web sites and ad networks accomplish this result by exploiting security flaws in the user's current software, often when the user clicks to close or eliminate a seemingly benign advertisement.
- Misleading Downloads: this is a practice where a company misrepresents the nature of the program it seeks to download and install onto a user's computer by claiming that the program is necessary to the proper function of the user's system. This is usually accomplished with a pop-up window or banner ad that purports to have discovered a problem with the user's computer-for example that the user's clock is not properly synched, a virus or worm is present, or the user is missing a vital system file-and then offers the download as a "solution." Usually, there was no problem to begin with and the download will have installed adware or spyware onto the user's computer.
- Undisclosed Downloads: this is a practice where an unexpected program is bundled with another program that the user is interested in, but the user is never informed (through the EULA or a dialogue box) about that unexpected software until it has already been installed onto the user's computer. These programs are often hidden in the user's system and not easily removable by the user through the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel.
We prohibit our online distributors from utilizing these techniques in connection with our software and prohibit them from subcontracting to others who utilize these techniques. MINDSPARK endeavors to monitor our distributors' compliance with our policies and we continually work to implement technological steps designed to prevent such coercive practices.
When you download and install the My Web Search toolbar and FWP Products, you might notice that an installer - in our case named "Easy Installer" - is temporarily added to your system. Easy Installer facilitates the installation of our software applications, and is not adware or spyware. After installation is complete and you have re-booted your computer, Easy Installer will be automatically deleted from your system.
The My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Products are capable of being completely uninstalled by end users in a straightforward manner and without requiring undue effort or skill. For more detailed instructions on how to uninstall the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Products, please read the FAQs posted on the Web site associated with your FWP Product, or contact user support by clicking here.
The My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Products can be downloaded directly from our Web sites. In addition, MINDSPARK works with other companies to market our products. We require that these partners observe the same high standards we set for ourselves in connection with our software products. For that reason, MINDSPARK′s partners and distributors may not:
- Download/distribute the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Products through any form of nonconsensual download practice (such as by engineering "drive-by" or involuntary downloads);
- Download/distribute the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Productsusing any type of click fraud (such as by using "mouse trapping" or a "fake close x" to mimic user-initiated click activity) or through any type of misleading download;
- Download or install the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Products by any other means that does not comply with these guidelines;
- Alter the uninstall process of the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Productsor impede in any way the uninstallation of the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Products; or
- Bundle the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Productswith spyware;
MINDSPARK has an online compliance team responsible for enforcing our policies on a variety of online consumer issues including, among other things, policies related to privacy and our software guidelines. To notify our compliance team of any violations of our policies or guidelines, please use this form.
MINDSPARK gathers a standard set of information from a user's computer when the user submits a search query via the My Web Search toolbar. We use this information to properly process your search request. Importantly, all information collected in connection with a search query is recorded on a non-personally identifiable basis and is kept strictly anonymous, except when a user expressly grants permission for this information to be collected and/or shared (e.g., with a registration-based product) and except as may be required by law or to protect the rights or safety of others.
Reporting Violations of the My Web Search toolbar and related FWP Products Downloadable Software Guidelines
MyWebSearch toolbar and related FWP Product users are our most valuable asset and it is essential that both our products and the actions of our partners are consistent with the policies we have in place to protect them. We strive to ensure our products and those of our partners live up to the high standards we set. MINDSPARK has an online compliance team responsible for enforcing our policies on a variety of online consumer issues (including its Privacy Policies and these software guidelines), as well as for monitoring its partners' practices. Of course, it is difficult to monitor the entire Internet, so we welcome users' active participation with us in this process. We encourage all of our users to report violations of our policies. As always, we also appreciate any feedback that will enable us to make our products even better (see "Send us your Feedback," below).
To report violations of our policies please use this form.
MINDSPARK recommends that consumers who wish to learn more about protecting themselves online visit the safe surfing guide posted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That guide also links to an FTC Consumer Complaint form, where consumers can submit complaints regarding violations of their online privacy or rights.
Send us your feedback
We are proud of our products and are committed to continuing to make them even better. Your feedback is a valued part of that process. We look forward to hearing from you. Please use this form to send us your feedback.
© 2013 Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc. All rights reserved.