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Message 1 of 16

New SiteAdvisor - Privacy Concern

I've searched the forums and unless I've missed it, no one seems to have mentioned that the new updated SiteAdvisor v.2.8.271 is leaving a list of every website visited in plain view for anyone to see. In my opinion, this is a heinous breach of privacy and it abhors me to think that a security company like McAfee would knowingly do this sort of thing. Many people take great pains to ensure that browsing history, cookies, cache etc. are swept away from the hard drive. And now, without any prior notice to users, McAfee have decided to secretly leave some sort of browsing history in Documents and Settings\NetworkService\Application Data\SACore\Cache

The contents of the "Data.dat" files seem to be SiteAdvisor's rating for each of the websites visited. Although this info is not in any way nefarious, just the fact that this list even exists has infuriated me to the point where I will uninstall this piece of foistware and be done with it. It also goes without saying that my opinion of McAfee has definitely been tarnished.

I don't use Firefox, maybe it’s different with that browser. Someone else can check that out if they want.
15 Replies
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XP or Vista?

I can't locate the file you mentioned.
But maybe you're using Vista..?
(I'm still XP)
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RE: XP or Vista?

It's not doing anything that your browser doesn't already do. However that file is hidden under normal circumstances.

In XP it is: C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\SACore\Cache

To see it one has to enable "View Hidden Files & Folders" under Windows Explorer Tools/Folder Options/View and regular computer users shouldn't normally have access to those hidden files and folders.

I will ask why SA keeps a list locally, however. I don't have an old version handy to compare whether or not it also did that.
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Message 4 of 16

RE: XP or Vista?

I use Windows XP Home Edition IE 7, Virusscan Plus 2008, NOT SiteAdvisor PLUS

My version of the SiteAdvisor is: 2.6.0.6261

I've been able to locate a SiteAdvisor folder, but it was empty.

I wouldn't be pleased if the SiteAdvisor would keep a record of the websites I've visited on my computer.

Actually, I wouldn't be pleased IF the SiteAdvisor keeps a record of the sites I've visited (meaning me or my computer) elsewhere !

I know that McAfee shares data with Doubleclick (which shares data with ...), but the SiteAdvisor does not equal McAfee, and the SiteAdvisor collecting data and sharing that with others is even more disturbing.
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RE: XP or Vista?

I think this only exists in version 2.8 which will arrive soon.
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Message 6 of 16

RE: XP or Vista?



I realize the browser also leaves a history trail. My point is that the browser's cache is a *known* location which one can easily erase if desired. I forgot to mention in my last post that this folder is a hidden folder that would not show up on a regular user's inspection of the hard drive. So, firstly it is put there without the user's knowledge. Secondly, it is hidden so the average user will never know it is there. Again I will say that the info contained in this folder is not damaging in any way other than one could be questioned as to why they have been surfing to whatever websites. I do not imply that SiteAdvisor is spyware but, the tactics involved are definitely akin to spyware. I am astounded that a company such as McAfee would not take great caution to ensure that their software could never be perceived in this manner.

I believe it is safe to say the old version did not behave this way since the creation date of the SACore folder is very recent. (07/30/2008) on my machine. I have deleted the contents, so I don't know the dates of the files and subfolders. Would be interesting though to know how many files and used up hard drive space others can find on their machines.
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RE: XP or Vista?

I'm going to make it a subject for the next conference call we have with McAfee on Monday.
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Message 8 of 16

batch file

If anyone is interested - the following command will instantly delete the Cache folder and all of the contents. Assuming that Windows XP is on drive C. If not just change the C: to the correct drive letter. Copy the command to a blank Notepad document. Save the file, give it anyname.BAT
Be sure the extension is .bat and not the default .TXT (case is not important).
If you save to Desktop - just double click the file and Poof! Everthing's gone. You can also put in the Startup folder and it will automagically run when you reboot. enjoy!

RmDir /S /Q "C:\Documents and Settings\NetworkService\Application Data\SACore\Cache"
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RE: batch file

Removing the directory is a temporary solution, i would guess on the next reboot that folder would be re-created, the only option would be to remove Siteadvisor.

I also believe when you install Siteadvisor you have the choice on whether to allow Siteadvisor to send data back to their servers or not.
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RE: batch file

I was wrong.

I've located a SiteAdvisor folder with data.
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