After a lot of end-users complaining about their EA-Series routers being automatically with their proprietary Cisco Connect Cloud firmware AND a questionable Terms & Conditions, Cisco has now changed their terms & conditions- and added a detailed (but needs to be done manually) procedure in their Knowledge-Base.
Cisco’s Vice President and GM Brett Wingo posted a blog yesterday explaining the steps they have taken- and made it clear more than once that neither Cisco Cloud Service nor Cisco Linksys keeps track on their customer’s internet usage nor they store information. However, the terms of Service in Cisco’s Connect Cloud before correction made it obvious that unless they keep a track of what an end-user is doing how will they know what the user is doing?
Brett Wingo further clarified that:
If a customer signs up for the Cisco Connect Cloud service, they are asked to provide a new username, a password, and an email address, which is required to set up the account. When the customer sets up a Cisco Connect Cloud account, they are asked to provide a local administrative password for the EA Series router to associate it with a Cisco Connect Cloud account. Cisco does not store this local administrative password.
This was the terms of Service in Cisco’s Connect Cloud sparked an uproar:
You agree not to use or permit the use of the Service: (i) to invade another’s privacy; (ii) for obscene, pornographic, or offensive purposes; (iii) to infringe another’s rights, including but not limited to any intellectual property rights; (iv) to upload, email or otherwise transmit or make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, spam, junk mail or any other form of solicitation; (v) to transmit or otherwise make available any code or virus, or perform any activity, that could harm or interfere with any device, software, network or service (including this Service); or (vi) to violate, or encourage any conduct that would violate any applicable law or regulation or give rise to civil or criminal liability.
While we are not responsible for any content or data that you choose to access or otherwise use in connection with the Service, we reserve the right to take such action as we (i) deem necessary or (ii) are otherwise required to take by a third party or court of competent jurisdiction, in each case in relation to your access or use or misuse of such content or data. Such action may include, without limitation, discontinuing your use of the Service immediately without prior notice to you, and without refund or compensation to you.
Now the terms of Service in Cisco’s Connect Cloud is as follows:
4. Your Responsibilities as a Cisco Connect Cloud User
You are responsible for any data that is sent or received by you and/or any other party in connection with your access to and/or use of the Service used in connection with your account. You agree that Cisco is not responsible and will not be liable to you or any others for any loss or damages due to your use of the Service.
As a condition of your use of the Service, you agree that your use of the Service is in accordance with these Terms of Service and the End User License Agreement and such use is permitted under and will comply with the applicable laws of the country where you use the Service.
You will indemnify and hold us and Cisco Systems Inc. and its affiliates harmless against any claims, losses or damages arising from any threatened, repudiatory or actual breach by you of the covenants set out in this Section.
As part of the Service, You will be required to create a password that will enable You to use the Service. Your email address and password will be used to validate Your identity in order to access the Service. When You choose a password, choose a unique combination of letters and numbers unrelated to Your or someone else’s identity or to any information that is publicly available or that may be needed by us to provide the Service to You or to others. If you share information related to the Service with others or allow others to access the Service using Your email address and password, you have no expectation of privacy or confidentiality in the personal information you may intentionally or unintentionally disclose. Therefore, please avoid giving access to these materials to others. You agree to notify Cisco immediately of any unauthorized use of your account or password, or any other breach of security.
5. Suspension or Termination of Your Account
Cisco shall have the right, in its discretion, to modify, suspend or discontinue the Service at any time without liability to Cisco. In such cases and where we are able to do this, we will use reasonable efforts to give you prior notice of any modification, suspension or discontinuation of the Service.
You agree that Cisco may suspend or terminate your access to the Service without notice if (a) Cisco suspects or determines that you have violated this Agreement, (b) Cisco determines that your actions cause Cisco to be in violation of any agreement or policy needed to run the Service or (c) Cisco is required to do so by any court or government authority in any country. You agree that Cisco will not be liable to you or to any third party for any suspension or termination of your access to the Service as a result of any threatened or actual violation of this Agreement.
Cisco may, upon such termination, deactivate or delete your Cisco Connect Cloud account. Cisco will not prevent you from using Your Cisco Linksys router or other Cisco Linksys device as a result of such termination.
If you wish to terminate your use of the Service, please contact our customer service team at http://homesupport.cisco.com/contactus/
Also this is Cisco’s Privacy Statement at the time of publishing this article:
- We collect personal information for a variety of reasons, such as processing your order, providing you with a newsletter subscription, personalizing your experience, or in connection with a job application.
- We will inform you of the purpose for collecting personal information when we collect it from you and keep it to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected or as required by applicable laws or for legitimate purposes.
- We may combine the information we collect from you with information obtained from other sources to help us improve its overall accuracy and completeness, and to help us better tailor our interactions with you.
- We may also collect information relating to your use of our websites through the use of various technologies, including cookies.
Notice and Your Choices of Data Use
- We will use your personal information for the purpose it was collected and will not use it for a different purpose without first asking for your permission.
- We will ask your permission before we share your personal information with third parties for any purpose other than the reason you provided it or as otherwise stated in our Online Privacy Statement.
- For information relating to your use of our websites, you may turn off cookies in your browser.
Data Access and Integrity
- To update your personal information and communication preference, contact email@example.com or visit the specific product or service web site.
- We are committed to protecting your personal information against unauthorized use or disclosure.
- As a global company, we may transfer your personal information to Cisco in the United States, to any Cisco subsidiary worldwide or to third parties acting on our behalf located outside of the country where the data is collected where data protection standards may be different.
- We do not transfer your personal information to third parties unless those third parties promise to give the information the equivalent level of protection that we provide.
- We follow privacy policies and data protection practices not only to comply with the law but to earn the trust and confidence in Cisco.
- We address inquiries or complaints regarding personal information promptly and courteously. Cisco is a member of TRUSTe (www.truste.com) so if you are not satisfied with our response, you can contact TRUSTe here.
- Cisco participates in the EU Safe Harbor Privacy Framework as set forth by the United States Department of Commerce. As part of the participation in the Safe Harbor, we have agreed to TRUSTe Watchdog dispute resolution for disputes relating to our compliance with the Safe Harbor Privacy Framework.
Personally, the next time when you’re buying such hardware which accesses the internet or a using a cloud network, make sure you spend time and read the Terms of Service for your own privacy- if you value it.