Cisco Changes Privacy Policy for Linksys Routers once Uproar

Cisco Systems said a privacy policy for the Cisco Connect Cloud service that alarmed some customers was a slip and has been removed.

The cloud service, that among alternative things permits users of some Wi-Fi home routers to manage their devices from off from home, went live last week and was included in an automatic firmware update to those routers. That brought a flood of complaints to on-line forums concerning each the firmware update and also the privacy document, that said Cisco may track and share info concerning customers’ web use and alternative information.

“We removed content that might are misinterpreted as being inconsistent with Cisco’s privacy statement primarily based on a selective analysis,” Cisco said in an exceedingly statement.

“In a nutshell, this was simply a slip,” Cisco spokesman David McCulloch said.

The specific privacy policy for the cloud service is contained in an exceedingly “Cisco Connect Cloud Supplement,” that expands upon Cisco’s general company privacy policy. there’s a link to the supplement on the correct facet of the final privacy page. elements of the supplement, together with the reference to collecting web history, are removed. McCulloch said he couldn’t immediately make a case for how the stricken language was included by mistake.

Some users of the Linksys EA3500 and EA4500 routers wrote on on-line forums last week that Cisco apparently had updated the firmware on their routers automatically while not their consent. The new firmware prompted them to begin managing their routers through the Cisco Connect Cloud service, that administers a router over the web rather than directly over the wireless LAN. Some users said they weren’t able to keep managing their routers regionally except through a restricted interface that lacked options they were used to.

Along the approach, one user noted a neighborhood of the privacy policy for Cisco Connect Cloud that said the corporate may keep track of a range of data together with web history and may share “aggregated and anonymous user expertise information” with service suppliers and alternative third parties.

The updated privacy supplement for the cloud service says, “Cisco could collect and store detailed info concerning your network configuration and usage for the aim of providing you technical networking support.” It says that information are going to be related to the client solely when he or she provides an ID range, randomly generated and underneath the user’s management, to the support representative.

An administrator on the Cisco Home Community forum subsequently posted a link to directions for downgrading the routers’ firmware and opting out of future automatic upgrades.

But Cisco conjointly felt the complaints with a passionate post to its official blog on Friday.

“Cisco Connect Cloud was delivered solely to customers who opted in to automatic updates. However, we have a tendency to apologize that the opt-out method for Cisco Connect Cloud and automatic updates wasn’t additional clear during this product unharness, and that we are developing an updated version which will improve this method,” Cisco Home Networking vp and General Manager Brett Wingo wrote within the blog post. The post directed clients who needed to come back to the normal Linksys management software to decision the Linksys customer support line.

The blog post conjointly partly addressed the questions on the privacy policy however did not say the “Cisco Connect Cloud Supplement” had been modified. McCullough said on Monday that the blog could be updated.

Linksys may be a complete used on product from Cisco’s Home Networking Business Unit.