AltaVista dumps community services, focuses on search

"Our removal of those features was because we have become focused on search for consumers and businesses and those features were not in line with our goals," said company spokesman David Emanuel on Wednesday.

Since September, the company has gradually been shutting down certain community services, Emanuel said. Services such as chat rooms, photo album and Web building capabilities were eliminated during the past three weeks, he said.

AltaVista would not disclose the cost savings associated with eliminating the community services other than to say it was a "huge cost," according to Emanuel. A third-party vendor was used to host its chat rooms.

"Ninety-three per cent of all activities starts with a search," Emanuel said. "Despite our best attempts to add those (community) features, our users want search."

Approximately nine months ago, AltaVista formalised selling its search technology to companies and has an estimated 1,000 corporate clients, including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), AltaVista spokesman Jim Shissler said. AltaVista, which is owned by Internet holding company CMGI, has 600 employees with the bulk of them focusing on search software and Internet search services.

During the time that AltaVista was deciding to shutter its online community services, CARU commenced a review of the company's Web site and its compliance to CARU's and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) guidelines that mandate prior parental permission before site operators can collect personally identifiable information from children under 13-years-old, said Phyllis Spaeth, senior staff attorney for CARU.

CARU officials found that AltaVista's site failed to comply with CARU and COPPA guidelines. They found that the use of registration language on the AltaVista site encouraged children under 13-year-old to misstate their ages. They also learned that AltaVista failed to adequately prevent children from accessing chat rooms with "adult only" content, Spaeth said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Evans

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?