• Report: #472539

Complaint Review: Esa Suurio - My WOT

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  • Submitted: Thu, July 23, 2009
  • Updated: Tue, February 08, 2011

  • Reported By:Fromberg Montana
Esa Suurio - My WOT
http://www.mywot.com/ Internet U.S.A.

Esa Suurio - My WOT selling personal info and browsing habits Internet

*General Comment: Not my experience

*Consumer Comment: Evidence please?

*Consumer Comment: Are you serious?

*Consumer Comment: MyWOT Elaborate Scheme to Defraud Millions out of Millions

*Consumer Comment: Happy MyWOT is finally coming to light

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There is a website called my web of trust that pretends to be a safe place for parents or whomever to go for information on safe and unsafe places on the web. You can download a free program that lets you rate different web sites, allowing you to avoid "unsafe" places for your kids or whatever.

However, the very program that is supposed to be protecting you, is actually taking your information and, because it knows every website you visit, tracks your browsing history and sells it to marketing companies so they know what ads to hit you with.

This is very unethical because they are tricking you into trusting them and then turning around and doing the exact same thing that they say they are protecting you against. It's very tricky and devious and need to be stopped!

Rob
Fromberg, Montana
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/23/2009 08:05 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Esa-Suurio-My-WOT/internet/Esa-Suurio-My-WOT-selling-personal-info-and-browsing-habits-Internet-472539. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 5Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Not my experience

AUTHOR: AlphaCentauri - (USA)

I do reviews on both McAfee SiteAdvisor and WebOfTrust. Of the two, WOT is far more fair to site owners. The ratings are done by humans rather than a computer program, the effects of reviewers' ratings are weighted by how well their previous ratings agreed with the majority of other people rating (vandals downrating good sites hurt their own reputation and reduce the impact of their rating on all sites), and many of the highest reputation reviewers are regular contributors to the forum and are available to discuss and revise ratings.

Some hints to having a good experience with WOT:

1. RTFM, or in this case, read the thread that says, "Read this thread before posting." It will tell you what you need to know. In particular, if you collect personally identifiable data, you need a privacy policy. If you transmit it over an insecure connection, you need to point that out to people. If your site gives cookies, you need to say why and what kind. And if your built your website from a "free" template you downloaded from some site you know nothing about, you really need to look into what your site might be doing behind the scenes. Remember that reviewers are spending a fair amount of their time on every site they review. If you had a restaurant and made an appointment for an inspection, then the first thing the inspector saw on arrival was a rat under a table that clearly had been dead a few weeks, how objective do you think he'd be about the rest of the inspection?

2. If you have a commercial site collecting personal data other than names and email addresses, you really need to pay for an SSL certificate, not a WOT trust seal. 

3. If your site doesn't identify who you are and your domain registration is privacy protected, it will hurt your ratings. It's about trust. You take the good with the bad when you want anonymity.

4. Once you have your site optimized, THEN ask for a rating. Listen to the comments objectively and address them. The raters will go back and give green ratings once problems are fixed. It has nothing to do with the trust seal, as most of the highest rated reviewers are independent and have no interest in who gets paid or not.

5. If you have a controversial site, and you know there are a lot of people who don't trust your organization, well hel-looo? Yeah, people who don't trust you will rate you down. WOT collects ratings from all users. Polarizing political organizations, religious organizations that protect pedophiles or pressure their adherents to give large sums of money, organizations with unpopular views, etc., are going to get rated down. It's the natural consequence of a site when the ratings are NOT controlled by the people selling the trust seals.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Evidence please?

AUTHOR: Annonymous - (USA)

Give me evidence that your OPINION (not facts) are TRUE. If you have no evidence, your beliefs can not possibly be truth. That means you, Mr. Fromberg, as well as Mr. Huntsville "Esa Suurio Serial Scammer". Same with Cheryl. Nearly every internet giant (Google, Yahoo, etc.) can sell browsing habits to marketing companies.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Are you serious?

AUTHOR: Jeremy d. - (U.S.A.)

This report seems to be part a defamation campaign going on against MyWOT. I have no idea if this is being done by a rival company, a malicious Web site operator, or a bored teenager. But I do know that there appear to be no facts behind arguments like this one.

This report is similar to one filed by someone calling himself "Esa Suurio Serial Scammer" (he also posted an update to this report with his version of the story). I really don't have a lot of confidence in someone who includes in his name the name of the fellow he's defaming.

As for the report, the author really makes no valid arguments. Nothing he says corroborates with any other reports I've found, except those made by the other guys participating in this defamation campaign. It's true that WOT stores statistical information, according to their privacy policy; they don't say what type of information it is. But they do make it clear that none of it is linked to users' personal information.

MyWOT wrote a blog piece about this defamation campaign. It can be found at:

http://www.mywot.com/en/blog/157-defamation-campaign-against-web-of-trust

If anyone has sound arguments against MyWOT, please speak up. So far I haven't heard any.
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#4 Consumer Comment

MyWOT Elaborate Scheme to Defraud Millions out of Millions

AUTHOR: Esa Suurio Serial Scammer - (U.S.A.)

When launched in 2006 by Timo Ala-Kleemola and Sami Tolvanen, few people could have seen the scam the website mywot.com (Web of Trust) would eventually become although the roots for the scheme were firmly laid back then. With one singular goal in mind, Timo and Sami set out to be the next dot com billionaires they wanted money and didn't care who they hurt to get it.

From the get-go Timo and Sami designed their system to be the perfect stealth spyware. It was spyware people would gladly invite into their homes, and continue to willingly feed it personal information because it would be disguised as scam detection software. They had seen enough movies to realize that the best con games convince the person to willingly give up their money rather than deceitfully take it.

They concocted a scheme by which users would rate websites as either good or bad. The rating would then be transmitted back to Timo and Sami's servers and users wouldn't think anything is wrong with that after all they chose to send the information. Trick is that piggybacking along with the rating would be data scraped from the user's hard drive. They had dreamed up the perfect scam.

So Timo and Sami set off to design their spyware and ironically dub it the Web of Trust. The programming was the easy part, it was more difficult to hatch a process that would keep people coming back to the site again and again, continually feeding Timo and Sami their passwords, banking information, and browsing habits.

That's when they invented the reputation system. The more sites a user rates, the higher their reputation goes, which fills the user with a sense of self importance and a desire to rate more sites and raise their reputation even higher. It keeps them coming back and sending up to the minute information from the user. It's an ingenious scam to continually milk the same user over and over.

Timo and Sami launch the site in 2006 and rope in their first marks, making a fair amount of money, but not in the amounts they initially hoped for; not to mention they don't have the connections to sell a lot of the information they're amassing. That's when serial entrepreneur Esa Suurio enters the company with new avenues and a rolodex full of contacts for Timo and Sami to exploit.

When Esa came on board the program had reached a certain level of popularity where many companies were starting to feel the pinch and began contacting the Web of Trust offices about removing the harmful information from their website. It was at this juncture that Timo, Sami and Esa realized they had discovered a whole new revenue stream.

The group would then charge companies large sums of money to remove negative ratings and posts from their message board. So long as they had millions of users everyday posting negative comments and dolling out bad reviews like candy, they would have an endless stream of revenue especially if they charge for each instance that needs removal.

Of course all of this would continually need to be done under the cloak of legitimacy. Magazine articles would be lined up with top computer publications touting the safety and protection offered by the Web of Trust. Like a good pick-pocket they were distracting people on the left while robbing them on the right. The reporters believed the company's legitimacy because the operations they were shown were, in fact, on the up and up. That's the beauty of the system. It doesn't matter that there's all types of unethical and illegal activity going on in the back office so long as the front office looks clean and spiffy.

The scam continues today, although cracks are starting to show. Recently CEO Esa Suurio announced he was ditching the company, leaving them holding the bag. It's just become too obvious that the company should not still be afloat without an obvious revenue stream, and Esa is probably worried that he'll be indicted so it's best to cut and run now.

That leaves original founders Timo Ala-Kleemola and Sami Tolvanen as the sole originating conspirators. Although it's entirely possible they too will soon leave to deflect their own culpability in the matter.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Happy MyWOT is finally coming to light

AUTHOR: Cheryl - (U.S.A.)

I am happy that the truth about MyWot is finally coming to light. This company has tricked so many individuals into downloading their software and then turning on them. It's like a robber that you invite into your home. It makes you feel guilty because it was your stupid trustworthiness that allowed the BS to happen. Thanks for posting this!
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