QANTAS Big-Brothers Frequent Flyers

by Martin Quinn (Principal Consultant) 25 June 2013

Who is a member of QANTAS Frequent Flyers? With the introduction of QANTAS’s new internet explorer toolbar, aimed at frequent flyers, you may be getting more than you bargained for. The toolbar is tied with an US company FreeCause, which collects data, performs statistical analysis and targets users with marketing and relevant products, services and offers, all for a meagre 150 Points.
(If you only used the toolbar to collect points it would take you 8 years to earn enough points (14000) for a flight from Sydney to Melbourne – one way.)
However, it’s how you “earn” these points that should be a concern. To earn points you have to conduct at least a minimum 150 “valid” web searches via the toolbar.
Also, FreeCause due to being located in the US, is not bound by the same privacy laws as Australia. QANTAS in their toolbar terms and conditions state it: “cannot ensure” that users’ information will be dealt with by FreeCause in accordance with the same laws, standards or obligations that are applicable under Australian privacy law.
So not only does it monitor what, and where you browse the internet, but it also holds no care of duty for your data once it is collected.
It makes me wonder what other sneaky hooks or phone home processes are bundled into the toolbar.
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Author: Intact Security
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Posted on by Martin Quinn in Security Blog