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July 10th, 2009

Tagged.com Fires Back At Cuomo’s Lawsuit

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New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that his office intends to sue the social networking site www.Tagged.com for “deceptive email marketing practices and invasion of privacy.”

Back on June 8 we warned our readers to be aware of the email scam that was invading millions of consumers’ inboxes. The email read that the sender would like to share photos with you via the website “Tagged.com”. Concerns arose when the senders began complaining that they had never sent the emails. Both the senders and those whom received the emails immediately suspected that their email addresses had been compromised.

However, www.Tagged.com’s CEO Greg Tseng says that the email addresses were not compromised, and that the emails were inadvertently sent by those with Tagged accounts. In a Tagged.com blog post Tseng wrote, “Tagged has not ‘raided’ email address books, ’stolen identities’ or ’spammed’ millions of people.” Tseng goes on to explain how the site’s previous registration process allowed its users to import their email address book, but “some members complained that they had inadvertently elected to send invitations to all the contacts they had uploaded.”

The CEO said that after hearing the wave of user complaints, the site altered the registration process to fix the problem.

“From this feedback we learned that, simply put, it was too easy for people to quickly go through the registration process and unintentionally invite their friends to join them on Tagged.”

“Upon receiving complaints, we stopped using this new registration process. We then emailed all new members who had sent invitations, explained that some people had unintentionally invited their contacts, and offered information on how to manage their contacts and, if they wanted, how to cancel their membership.”

Tagged has provided a series of screen shots that help explain the issue at hand. Tseng said that his website fixed the problem before Mr. Cuomo’s office decided to take action, and that they “are very confident that once the Attorney General considers all of the facts, we will be able to resolve this matter amicably.”

Do you believe Tagged.com?

(hat tip: The Consumerist)

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18 Responses to “Tagged.com Fires Back At Cuomo’s Lawsuit”

  1. Aya @ Thrive Says: July 10th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Ever since we wrote our post about tagged.com on our blog (http://blog.justthrive.com/2009/06/wwwtaggedcom-scam-stealing-personal-and-financial-information), we’ve been trying to keep up with the controversy, especially since we’ve received some interesting comments on it. I applaud the fact that Tagged has been actively responding, though I’m still skeptical by the number of users they’re reporting and how they’re growing. Are they referring to those that frequently use the site and post pictures? Or are they counting those people that signed up to see their friend’s pictures, only to realize they signed up for nothing, as users too? I can’t speak for how the new registration flow compares to the old one since I hadn’t gone through either, but I hope there aren’t any hidden loop holes anymore as they claim.

  2. Tim Manni Says: July 10th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Hey Aya,

    Yea, they claim they are the 3rd largest social networking site. Good point, I wonder if they are counting those whom received those emails?

    You guys had a lot of interesting comments on your posts from people who were pro-Tagged. Yet that’s a good thing, b/c a good story presents both sides.

    Are you guys considering a follow up post?

  3. Atom Crewz Says: July 14th, 2009 at 3:57 am

    I never just click yes. I run all sorts of safety measures on my internet connect computer. I’m not sure why ppl seem to think the internet is a safe friendly place. What idiot gives away their email password to a whole website?!?!
    I use tagged alot, as much or more than myspace. It has alot of potential, but the email request was a big negative. Also it collects and keeps trying to collect personal data. Something’s got to pay for the site.
    I admire their other experiments in commerce. The gifting thing might be cool at some point.
    I’m certain we are all being spied on with our isp activity. Bush and Obama don’t even ask us, and yet we are logged, GPSed, CCTVed, etc. Imposed Big brothering is getting a little disgusting. This is truly the end of the age of information, because we are well into decadence and privilege.
    Most interesting to me is that Andrew Cuomo’s ppl came up with “Contact Scraping” as terminology. Excellent.

  4. Tim Manni Says: July 14th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Atom,

    Thanks for commenting. So you are a Tagged user and quite happy with their site? Do you believe Cuomo’s case has potential?

  5. Atom Says: July 18th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    …It seems extreme to me in it’s particulars. However, I am very concerned with the trampling of personal privacies on the internet.(you have very little). I’m Put off entirely by the fact that collection/correlation(heuristical analysis)/resale is somehow legal. What now everyone is an amateur investigator? Weird.
    This suit will likely fail. It was a poorly designed and devisive registration procedure, but it was clear to me that I should click “No”. This news event has however caused huge damage to Tagged. If the charges are dismissed, Tagged still has a huge uphill battle with bad press.
    Check out Tagged, it has a lot of novel implementations lacking in other social networks. Do be cautious as always though.

    I think Andrew Cuomo is hot-button-issue-scraping. :)
    Thanks for reading!
    -Atom

  6. Tim Manni Says: July 18th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Atom,

    Good hearing from you again. I agree, Tagged may never get out from under this.

    What “implementations” does Tagged have that may make them better?

    -Tim

  7. Atom Crewz Says: July 20th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Fun random lost thread… But I’m in it!

    Hey Tim,
    It’s things like “the luv meter”. You can give out 3 luvs per day to any person, then it lasts on their “luv meter” for I think a week. So it encourages you to bump/poke/message your friends. Sounds goofy, it is, it’s also fun!
    The pet game, it’s just the weirdest thing. All members of tagged can be bought and traded as pets. when you sell them you split the profit with the buyer. Pets start out with no value then gain value as traded. I’m worth like 33,000 e-dollars. You form teams that buy the same pets back and forth. I wish I could explain why this is so great. It’s a game somewhere between solitaire and coin flipping as far as meaninglessness goes, but it is shamefully addictive.
    The match game, you can go through profile pics and click yes/no in rapid fire. If one of those “yes”ed ppl clicks back on you, it connects you via profiles. Some use it for dating. It’s just a fun way to network.
    -Thanks for writing that article, as usual I was the last one to learn I was logged into pure evil. lol. Tagged is pretty fun, and not a prime offender in my book. I would guess Cuomo’s kid or a friend got lured into clicking something they shouldn’t. His plight doesn’t really make sense to me.
    -Atom

  8. Tim Manni Says: July 20th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Atom,

    Thanks for responding. Haha, now I can’t say this is what really happened, but I too was curious to how Cuomo found out. I thought, was one of his assistants on Tagged.com and a phony email? I realize that what happened with Tagged was a real pain, but we’ll see if the website is as evil with their intentions as Cuomo claims.

    Good hearing from you,
    Tim

  9. Krysti McMurphy Says: July 24th, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    I love Tagged. It’s much less annoying than Facebook with it’s seemingly unlimited assortment of insipid applications and pop-up chats. Tagged is easy to use and lots of great people. However, there are also a high number of fake profiles and odd characters. The key to safety on Tagged is to create an email account just for that site. Never use your regular email account on any social networking site. Then, you can’t have some embarrassing situation like your boss or grandmother being invited to join Tagged. Plus, unless they shear you every spring, you’re not sheep! Never fill out the forms they present to you on Tagged. I’ve been ignoring them for almost a year. Just click “Messages” to return and avoid having to opt out of the forms they ask you to complete whenever you send a message. Your messages aren’t effected. Never give any of these sites your real full name, birth date, address or other private information. Make sure everything is off enough to protect your privacy. If fake personal information is hacked or stolen, it’s worthless. If real personal data is stolen, you’re screwed! Just because someone asks for something, like your birth date or address, it doesn’t mean you have to give it….unless it’s the IRS, Passport Office, Credit Bureau or the DMV. Guard your private information. Use the privacy settings. Never let anyone know where you really live or how to find you. Never give them your regular, or your business, email address. You can often Google someone using an established email address and find out who they are. Give people the email you created for Tagged or just correspond on Tagged. Most people on these sites are safe, but a few are deeply disturbed. It only takes one person to turn your life upside down. Once you have gotten to know someone well and have verified their identity, then you can consider sharing more information. Have fun, but always keep your guard up and you’ll never have a problem.

  10. Jeff Says: August 1st, 2009 at 8:53 am

    After my address book was hacked by tagged.com, I sent an email to tagged.com’s Vice President of Sales.
    He responded to me personally three weeks later with a jabbering, babbling email that any first-year law student could hang him on.
    I am very much looking forward to the other upcoming suits against them, and the destruction of their company.
    So far, every statement they have sent out is as fraudulant as their spam.

  11. Tim Manni Says: August 3rd, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Krysti,

    You’ve offered some great suggestions, thanks. I think we’re gaining a more positive view of Tagged thanks to a lot of users who have commented here. Keeping your private info safe online, no matter the website, is paramount. While there certainly are a lot of positives that go along with social networking, it’s also a hot bed for fraudulent activity as you so explained.

    So, for you, Tagged has been much more of a positive than negative experience?

    Thanks again for the helpful tips,
    Tim

  12. Rosky Says: August 3rd, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I got hijacked by tagged.com. I received an “email” from my mother telling me she had pictures for me to see. Then next thing I know all of my friends got the same email…….and no one EVER signed up for this or added photos. We all got rooked by TAGGED.COM. They definitely violated the trust issue there and had I known the email was not truly from my mother, I would have deleted it. So yes, it was SPAM work at it’s finest. YOU SUCK TAGGED.COM!!

  13. Tim Manni Says: August 4th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Rosky,

    Sorry to hear about your misfortune. We believe this is the typical action that started the problem in the first place — email address books being hacked.

    If you’re interested, we also have this post that explains the problem you have experienced. It has gotten a lot of responses from readers.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  14. John G.B Kortu Says: August 29th, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I differ with the Attorney seriously, because, if u wont to get a friend, u should firstly know hos or her profile. So, as an individual, I don’t see any madnitude in Dr. Cuomo’s case. I am a writer from Libera West Africa.

  15. John G.B Kortu Says: August 29th, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I seriously differ because, Dr.Cuomo’s know fully well that tagged is a social web site that people goes on to get their life time partner. so if Dr. Cuomo had a problem, why he never speak out long time or try to put stop to it long but only now. So Dr. Cuomo, pls allow other people eyes to perceive what they are to meet wheather shooth body or not. So pls don’t blame the management of tagged but blame those who are exposing their body to the entire world.

  16. Tim Manni Says: August 31st, 2009 at 11:44 am

    John,

    Thanks for commenting and sharing your opinions. I haven’t heard too much news on this subject since this story was published, so I’m still waiting to see if Cuomo’s case will proceed.

    It’s great to see we have readers from around the world. Thanks,
    Tim

  17. gracia Says: September 8th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Most profiles on Tagged.com are fake…the site is full with scammers…most from UK and Malaysia…and I believe most of those hermaphrodite scammer dudes behind the scene are nigerians/afro dudes..
    Also too many stupid hookers on that site advertising themselves looking for some bucks..

  18. sandraraven15 Says: September 9th, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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