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Cisco says sorry for stuffing up users

It did not want to steal your data

Last week Cisco customers were furious about how a linksys upgrade forced them to sign up for the Cisco Connect Cloud. The TOS for Cisco Connect Cloud allowed the company to keep track of the user's internet history and other information.

Now Brett Wingo, the VP and general manager of Cisco Home Networking has said sorry for a "lack of clarity" in the terms-of-service agreement that accompanied a recent firmware upgrade to several higher-end Linksys routers. For those who came in late Cisco, released a firmware upgrade that ultimately connected to a new service called Cisco Cloud Connect. This pushed all router controls into the cloud in an unannounced move which disconnected users who did not agree.

The move hacked off some customers who became puce with rage when they started reading the terms-of-service agreement for Cisco Cloud Connect. It said that when they used the service, Cisco 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; Internet history; how frequently you encounter errors on the Service system and other related information.”

Cisco admits it got a fair bit of negative feedback from this move and was not only forced to revise the TOS language but offer instructions on how customers can roll the routers' firmware back to the previous version, and disable automatic upgrades.
Wingo wrote that he had continued to receive questions about the service, privacy, and in particular the service terms of Cisco Connect Cloud. He thinks that a lack of clarity in Cisco's terms of service has contributed to many of his customers’ concerns and he said sorry.

Wingo said that Linksys customers were not required to sign-up for the Cisco Connect Cloud service and they are able to opt-out of signing up for an account. He added that Cisco will not arbitrarily disconnect customers from the Cisco Connect Cloud service based on how they are using the Internet. Linksys routers are not used to collect information about Internet usage, he said and Cisco only retains information that is necessary to sign up for and support the Cisco Connect Cloud service.

Wingo said that Cisco had 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.

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