Fact Checked

What is Myware?

Sherry Holetzky
Sherry Holetzky

Myware is essentially spyware. It is debatable whether or not it is “good” spyware, as some assert. It depends on how you feel about your personal information being collected, even if it is ostensibly being done to benefit you. In an era of privacy concerns, many people are suspicious of cookies or other tracking devices used to develop an online history. How the data is collected, stored, and used is often of great concern to those who cherish privacy.

The premise of myware is that it is intended to help the user. A good example is people who like to download music. Having their lists of favorite songs within easy access would be convenient. That might be a good thing when it comes to data collection, but what else happens to that information?

Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

Are companies that collect personal information allowed to use it at will? There must be something to gain for those who create this kind of software, which makes it seem very unlikely that they would offer a product just to be nice. Will they sell this information to third parties?

Today, many people have gone beyond firewalls and anti-virus programs and also use spyware detection and removal tools. Even though many items like basic cookies can be fairly harmless, many people choose to clean the majority of them from their computers. Some people run more than one spyware detection program to make sure one picks up objects the other may not. People who are this particular about who collects and uses their information aren’t likely to subscribe to myware or similar programs.

Perhaps the best advice is to review the terms of service and other information provided, very carefully. For some people, convenience is worth the trade-off of having another party monitor their Internet usage. Others simply believe there is no longer any privacy, so they aren’t very concerned about programs like myware, that are intended to collect and store the sites you visit, how often you visit, how long you stay on each site, your total time spent online, and much more.

Myware is also apparently intended to allow the user to trade collected information for a product or service. The next question is how much is your information worth to you? It is also important to know how that information will be used once it’s traded. Will the company you share it with then share it with other parties, sell lists that include you, give that information to a government agency?

While myware is generally described in positive terms, as being open and being for the user, one has to ask just how open it really is. When your information is collected is it really “yours” to do with as you please? Can you edit it, delete it, change it, move it, sell or trade only part of it? Are you really in control of your information or is myware?

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Discussion Comments


I've just run across this post while researching an article on myware. There are some other uses of myware, most notably in the billing and timesheet sector, where myware technology is used by several applications to track user's activities so they can complete timesheets more accurately. One time tracking application (Qlockwork) even positions itself as myware.

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