Zoho shuns adjunct surveillance, rids all third-party trackers

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Chennai: Zoho has shunned adjunct surveillance practice. It blocked all third-party websites, trackers and cookies on its website to stop adjunct surveillance. This includes removing options to share on social media sites or analysing website visitor data using third-party services, the company said.

Zoho said that it had to develop its own tools in some cases because it believes that the cost of doing that was worth it.

Surveillance companies, which rely heavily on showing ads to survive, collect user information even from adjunct properties without the user’s permission. B2B companies use products and services from surveillance companies in exchange for their users’ data.

Earlier this year, Zoho decided not to follow this industry practice and started eliminating third-party trackers and cookies.

“Currently, data privacy is our top concern. We are noticing a trend today, where companies don’t think much before embedding services that are essentially trojan horses masquerading as free services that spy on users. We refer to this as “adjunct surveillance,” said Raju Vegesna, Chief Evangelist, Zoho.

Condemning the industry practice of “adjunct surveillance” Vegesna said that his company Zoho took a stance to entirely block third-party companies across all their properties.

“This may not be a financially sound decision, but morally this is right decision and we are proud of this. Financial profitability doesn’t mean anything if we are morally bankrupt,” commented Vegesna.

“We hope other vendors follow us on this path. The pendulum of surveillance has swung too far. It is important to swing the other direction to protect user privacy,” stressed Vegesna.

“We don’t own your data, you do. We will never sell your data. We will never show you ads in our products,” Vegesna promised to their customers.

The Chennai based Zoho said it has always prioritized user privacy. And does not have an ad-revenue model in any part of its business, including its free products.

By choosing Zoho, businesses will inherit the company’s top-tier privacy and security practices across all products. And their data will be stored securely in Zoho’s datacentres.

How many companies are willing to give up this practice of “adjunct surveillance”?

This remains a million-dollar question today. As almost every business or organisation globally has an online presence through a website or a mobile app. And they do collect user data directly or through third-parties trackers and other web tools.

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