Cisco Does Damage Control After Linksys Router Backlash

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – A service known as Cisco Connect Cloud made available through simple Linksys router firmware upgrades recently caused a considerable amount of backlash among Wi-Fi router owners.

The solution meant to help users set up better home Wi-Fi networks with application support had been added as a new service made available through the Linksys router upgrades. However, its terms-of-service received scrutiny and threw those worried about privacy rights into a frenzy.

“When you use the Service, we may keep track of certain information related to your use of the Service, including but not limited to the status and health of your network and networked products; which apps relating to the Service you are using; which features you are using within the Service infrastructure; network traffic (e.g., megabytes per hour); Internet history; how frequently you encounter errors on the Service system and other related information (“Other Information”),” stated the service agreement, according to a report from All Things D.

It continued, “We use this Other Information to help us quickly and efficiently respond to inquiries and requests, and to enhance or administer our overall Service for our customers.”

Now the company appears to be backtracking. On Wednesday, in a blog post, Cisco Systems VP and GM Brett Wingo said that his company should have been clearer when implementing the service. Wingo emphasized that Connect Cloud was optional and users could “opt-out of signing up for an account.”

The backlash also showed Cisco that it needed to change the default settings. “In response to our customers’ concerns, we have simplified the process for opting-out of the Cisco Connect Cloud service and have changed the default setting back to traditional router set-up and management,” commented Wingo.

So if you do decide to use the Cisco Cloud Connect Service, is Cisco still tracking which online sites you visit? “No” was the answer provided by Wingo. “The Cisco Connect Cloud service has never monitored customers’ Internet usage, nor was it designed to do so, and we will clarify this in an update to the terms of service,” he stated. Linksys routers are among the most popular in the market. Cisco purchased the company in 2003.