Cisco is the Latest Tech Giant to Come Under Fire for Privacy Policies


Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)  had ‘forced’ its cloud service called ‘Cisco Connect Cloud’ on the users of its LinkSys devices, earlier this week. The update was of a essential, and the customer had to download and install it, or else be stuck with a non-functioning device. The troubles with this default update were:

  • After installing the automatic firmware  update, the useful router management tools available in a Web browser became unavailable.
  • In order to access these handy tools, customers had to sign up for Cisco’s cloud service. If they didnt they would be unable to use the adminstrative features of router management tools.

Other concerns by user were:

  • Users complained that the company was accessing their personal information.
  • The terms of service language was objectionable to some. The clauses seemed to ban the users from surfing on porn sites and making illegal downloads. Customers called this an infringement on their personal rights.

Cisco has now retracted some of the essential and annoying features of this cloud service so that it is not the default management tool anymore. The customers can now opt out of this service and still use the periodic firmware updates by the company.

Cisco has also tried to quell the users’ fear over privacy issues. The company wrote on its blog:

“When a customer signs up for a Cisco Connect Cloud account, personal information is used only to establish an account in order to provide customer support. Consistent with Cisco’s practices, Cisco Connect Cloud does not actively track, collect or store personal info or usage data for any other purposes, nor is it transmitted to third parties.”

Cisco is not the only one that has crossed the line with privacy settings. The king of social-networking, Facebook, has been hit hard repeatedly with criticism over they way it handles personal information. Just recently, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) dropped the Find Friends Nearby app in less than 48 hours.  Facebook Inc got rid of the app before any major cries of spying over personal information were raised by the users. Nonetheless the widget had a lot of potential of doing so, as it used GPS to find other people around your home and work location that were logged in with Facebook.   While Facebook claims that the app is just in testing phase, we all know what would happen if they decided to take it out of the ‘test’ and relaunch it.