Update: on Tuesday, February 14, Jajah substantially revised the "Registration Data" and Collecting Information" sections of their EULA. In my judgment, the changes are specific enough to warrant retitling this post from "VoIP service Jajah on my mind- as possible spyware" to "VoIP service Jahah changes EULA to ease spyware concerns."
I've posted the changes below.
Update: on Saturday, February 11, I received an email from one of the board members of Jajah. When his name is formally announced next week, I will identify him here.
In his email, he denies that Jajah is spyware:
As I am one of the board members of this company (a Press Release will be issued early next week), I am fully involved in the product development, and I was amazed to read that you suspect that JaJah might be a spyware.First, I have read your comment on our EULA, and I might agree the wording is confusing.
But I want to assure you that Jajah isn't a spyware, and doesn't track user activities/behavior on the internet.
We will look again on our EULA and make it much clearer that we are not "spying" on users.
Second, our new application is Web Based only (we had a beta of a client based application, but this isn't supported anymore), which means the user doesn't download any client. This means that technically it isn't possible to track the user activities out of our web-site.I assure you we will look carefully into the EULA and make the necessary changes to make it clear we are not spyware.
Now to my original post:
I was just reading an article entitled "VoIP Startup Isn't Quite Spyware, But It's Close."
The piece on the Extreme VoIP website seems to imply that the software for a new VoIP service called Jajah might actually have another role than letting you talk to your friends and family on the very cheap. And over landline phones, at that.
That would be spyware.
Mark goes on to quote a spokesperson from anti-spyware developer Webroot Software as saying that although Jajah isn't doing anything blatantly illegal, "they're just toeing the line, and we certainly don't agree with it by any means."
Update: As noted in the addition to the top of this post, Jajah posted revised Registration Data and Collecting Information text in their EULA. The revised text is bold-faced below, with the original text struck thru.
Registration Data. JAJAH requires that You fill in the information marked as mandatory on the Registration Form (the "Registration Data"). This information may be updated by You from time to time.
Registration Data. JAJAH requires that You fill in the information marked as mandatory on the Registration Form at (the "Registration Data"). Such form may be updated by You from time to time. Automatic Tracking. By Using JAJAH’s site, JAJAH is able to and may track certain information about You and your correspondence on the JAJAH site in order to perform internal research on its Users' demographics, interests, and behavior, as well as to monitor and enforce the terms of the License Agreement. This information may include the URL from which You arrived, the next URL You may visit, what browser You are using and your IP address.
Collecting Information: Information collected about You will be kept in a specific file for You.
Collecting Information. Information collected about You will be kept in a specific file for You. JAJAH may collect information about any activity being performed by You while using the Product, including any correspondence between you and other users of the JAJAH site, messages left by You on any board or any searches and requests performed by You. Any EULA updates will be described here in this blog entry. Yet as to the way the EULA reads now, it's the last part that opens my eyes just a bit. Something about the word "any." That word is awful inclusive in its scope. Ask Dictionary.com, which defines "any" as "One, some, every, or all without specification."
We'll keep you up to date on any new developments.