Is DollIdol.com a site targeted to kids? Ben Edelman wrote about it as an example of another 180solutions misleading installation. Besides 180solutions targeting a site aimed at kids, other problems were noted with the installation including poor disclosure, misleading statements and omissions of relevant facts. I blogged about Ben's write up here and Sean Sundwall from 180solutions responded in the talkbacks. Sundwall also posted the exact same response at VitalSecurity and SpywareInformer. Sundwall contends, among other things, that DollIdols.com is not a kids' site. He wrote:
1. DollIdol is a child’s site - This is patently false. DollIdol.com is not targeted at kids, period. Suggesting that a site is targeted at children because it has animated characters is a bit naïve.
Umm, well, if DollIdols isn't target to kids, just who is it targeted to? Paperghost at VitalSecurity said:
This thing is clearly, undeniably aimed at kids. Unless you're a cross-dressing 40-something who likes to play with dollies and write poetry about reruns of Rainbow Brite, there is just no way that you could think the contrary.
Ben Edelman has now posted his response and critique of Sundwall's comments, point by point.
I think Doll Idol's content (avatars in the style of barbie dolls) largely speaks for itself.
Umm... yeah, again. Ben mentions the FTC Dot Com Disclosures and notes 180solutions' duty to disclose, and notes its failure to disclose pertinent facts about the installation.
Official safe browsing tips (from the computer industry and even from the US government) specifically instruct users to press "x" in any unrequested popup, to reduce risk of installing software accidentally. By intentionally hiding this "x" button, 180 specifically blocks this industry-standard and government-endorsed method for users to protect themselves.
Read in full here for 180solutions points and Ben's counterpoints.