When publishers wants more data about online consumers but many consumers don’t want to disclose data, a technological arms race results. Now that many online publications are requiring that consumers register before reading, it shouldn’t be surprising that some online consumers are developing applications to avoid that. The latest is BugMeNot.com.
This Australian Web site lets consumers anonymously share active usernames and passwords for more than 130 forced-registration sites. “BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of websites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times),” its FAQ declares.
- “Why not just register? It’s a breach of privacy. Sites don’t have a great track record with the whole spam thing. It’s contrary to the fundamental spirit of the net. Just ask Google. It’s pointless due to the significant percentage of users who enter fake demographic details anyway. It’s a waste of time. It’s annoying as hell. Imagine if every site required registration to access content.”
NYTimes.com and LATimes.com are currently the two most popular sites at BugMeNot.com, whose servers are based in the US.