Tagged tagged by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

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privacy11.jpgADOTAS — Was it a massive mistake now being exploited by a politician (not-so) covertly aiming for a governorship or a nasty spam play that a social networking site didn’t think would be investigated? We’ll find out now.

Over the past month, the Attorney General’s Office has been investigating Tagged’s use of alleged deceptive methods to get individuals to join its service. According to the AG, the investigation revealed that Tagged has persistently and knowingly violated New York laws designed to protect consumers from deceptive business practices, false advertising, and the misappropriation of their identities.

Tagged CEO Greg Tseng said in a blog posting that a new registration process was problematic and eventually fixed, and that the company “has not “raided” email address books, “stolen identities” or “spammed” millions of people. The descriptive analogy to “breaking into a home, stealing address books, and sending phony mail” to a person’s contacts is evocative, but it is not accurate.”

According to Cuomo, beginning in April of 2009, Tagged, with the direct approval of its CEO, sent out tens of millions of misleading emails to individuals on its members’ contact lists. Tagged did not clearly and conspicuously disclose to these members that these email invitations would be sent on their behalf, and Tagged has since admitted that many of its members did not actually intend to send the invitations. Many users had no awareness at all that Tagged was accessing their emails contacts in order to send deceptive invitation emails.

 Cuomo has played coy on whether he’ll run for governor of New York. A stinging rebuke of a company based on privacy concerns will get a lot of play across the country, so let’s see what happens.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Right wing? Are you saying that prosecuting a case of privacy is not good politically? Or that Cuomo is playing coy with running for governor?

    Since some liberals, including Charlie Rangel, have openly wondered about Cuomo, it’s hardly a right wing issue. And in New York, there is no credible right wing anyway.

  2. Why mention Cuomo’s political motivations at all? The story is about Tagged’s alleged abuses. Whether Cuomo is running for office is really not part of the story (yet). Can’t he just be doing this because it is the right thing to do?

    The code words/phrases you use do more than hint at a political bias: “exploited,” “covertly aiming,” “played coy,” “will get a lot of play.”

    We already get enough bias from Fox (I refuse to call them News) Corp. and other mainstream media. Just stick to the facts. Thanks.

  3. Cuomo’s running for office is relevant considering elliot spitzer sued synergy6 (without having much of a case) back in 2003 to prop up his run for governor.

  4. I still don’t see how Cuomo’s political ambitions (or lack of them) have any relevance to this story.

    Adotas’ purpose is: “…a premier news publication focused on the Internet advertising and media industry.” That’s why I read it.

    Jeez, guys, if I want to know how snaky Cuomo is I’ll go to Heritage.org or the sleaze-soaked Drudge report.

  5. the political ambitionsare totally relevant as is tagged’s bad practices. They both have a lot to do with each other.

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