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Current Ask Toolbar Practices

October 16, 2006


Last year I documented Ask toolbars installing without consent as well as installing by targeting kids. Ask staff admitted both practices are unacceptable, and Ask promised to make them stop. Unfortunately, Ask has not succeeded.

In Current Practices of IAC/Ask Toolbars, I report notable current Ask practices. I show Ask ads running on kids sites and in various noxious spyware, specifically contrary to Ask's prior promises. I document yet another installation of Ask's toolbar that occurs without user notice or consent. I point out why Ask's toolbar is inherently objectionable -- especially its rearrangement of users' browsers and its excessive pay-per-click ads to the effective exclusion of ordinary organic links. I compare Ask's practices with its staff's promises and with governing law -- especially "deceptive door opener" FTC precedent, prohibiting misleading initial statements even where clarified by subsequent statements.