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I just downloaded this toolbar here. There's an option that allows you to contribute X% to a charity of your choosing from the list of merchants they are working with.

One of the features on this tool bar is that is has a coupon/voucher button that appears when I'm surfing certain merchant sites. Now this is great and all but my question is: how does it know what website I am on? Is it reading my cookies? Is this even legal?

I am working as a junior DBA so I don't really know what goes on behind the hood so it would be great if someone could shed some light on this!

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 2 '09 at 20:16

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1  
Have you tried asking them? –  Ben James Nov 24 '09 at 9:39
    
It sounds kinda sneaky, I dont think they are gonna be that upfront about it. –  Nai Nov 24 '09 at 9:40
1  
This seems like a superuser question... –  snicker Dec 2 '09 at 20:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is a toolbar and therefor an executing part of your browser. It has access to almost everything your browser does including temp folder, cookies and active window(s). It is kind of hard to say what it is reading from.

I, for one, would not install any toolbars on a Production machine. Well, maybe the Google search bar.

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1  
It's most likely legal since you opted in by installing the application (and presumably) agreed with the EULA... You DID read and understand the entire EULA didn't you. ;-) <- I'm not a lawyer. –  Chris Nava Dec 2 '09 at 20:22

I google (almost) everything I install that is not a well-known mainstream application. I did this for your toolbar and from what I found I would not install this app.

Below is a sample. The complete source can be found here.

One Cause purports to help people turn their online shopping into a charitable
activity. And if that were all it would be okay.  But it’s not. One Cause
is owned by Rakuten USA, who also happen to own LinkShare.  And the
One Cause toolbar has been verified to overwrite affiliate cookies.
What does this mean for your income stream?  It means that if you use
LinkShare (and they’re not the only one, just the biggest) and you attract
traffic with your hard work, ingenuity, and hard earned money all potential
customers that have the One Cause toolbar installed won’t generate a dime
for you. Your affiliate cookie will be overwritten by One Cause.  You lose.

Of course anybody can publish their opinion so I will look at several links and see if I can find a consensus, but this does not look like a reputable piece of software.

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