If you have not seen this message on Facebook before, you will most likely see it soon! by: Wayne Warrington

It started several months ago, I starting seeing this message from several of my friends on Facebook.  “I want to add your birthday!” The message while appearing friendly and pretty much a nice thing to do with good friends, was also coming from consumers that connected with me on Facebook through the work I was doing for them.  When I first clicked on the link to accept the request from someone I knew in person, I noticed it was not a Facebook process, it was a third-party application so I simply ignored the request. My Calendar Facebook

This morning when I received yet another request for my birthday info, I noticed that a host of my friends had all opted into this seemingly innocent application. 86 friends to be exact, which is a sizable number …so I thought hummm what does this application do and why would people want it so much when Facebook already has a perfectly good process of notifying me of when my friend’s birthdays are. So I checked it out.

The first thing I do when checking out a website or application whether for my smart phone or computer is to review the site’s privacy policy.  As I read through the privacy policy I realized this was a business that was all about gathering information “YOURS” and using it, selling it, distributing it to advertisers or possibly worse and when a person clicks on the INSTALL button, they basically are volunteering their life history along with all of their friend’s contact info with no recourse as to what happens to the information from that point on.

The application itself is a very basic one with a simple feature, certainly one that I would not personally use based upon the enormous price it extracts from me in the way of my personal information.

So to be fair, before writing my review here and possible warning to consumers about this My Calendar Application, I started digging a bit more.  I thought to myself, if this is a legit company with no major issues and a solid business background, maybe we can give it a 3 star “good” rating.  Here is what I found, and why I am giving it a Consumer Recommendation Rating of 1 Star “FAIR”.

My Calendar is an application introduced to public by a company called K-Factor Media, LLC.  The company has a BBB rating of A, vs an A+ since there is little to no information on the company and it is not a member of the BBB.  The BBB says the company has been in business since 01-01-2008, which is NOT verified.  The company uses a POST OFFICE BOX for its business address. My Calendar BBB record

The company is registered in California as a limited liability company. Licensed in 2009, not 2008.  The company uses an address in Fremont California as its business location, which when I ran a check on the address, it appears to be the HOME address of the parents of the person listed as the founder of K-Factor Media, LLC. A Ms. Jing Chen.

The company only has ONE product from what I can see and it can be found through the normal online channels such as Google Apps.  Unfortunately the company information link on Google Apps is BAD so they may have changed company URLs at some point after loading their MyCalendar App.

Ms. Chen has a Linkedin Profile when a good number of connections and is shown as attending college in PA.  From her profile records she appears to be in her 20’s.

Jing Chen LinkedinAs I researched the balance of the company, its history, location, products, etc. as an entrepreneur I felt a sense of excitement for Ms. Chen since it was almost looking at the founders of HP when they create their company from their garage and built it to one of the leaders in their industry.   Ms. Chen and her 2 other company founders certainly have a shot at making some big money with their little single product – social media application.

Unfortunately I then have to put on the consumer advocate hat and look at the company, the application and more importantly their TOS and Privacy Policy and provide this warning to my readers and consumers around the globe.  This seemingly innocent and somewhat “helpful” application has the ability to download virtually all of your personal information, plus a list of all your friends, plus your chats and posts on any of its related pages and use that information or sell that information to a company or companies that may NOT have your best interests at heart.  So… consumers beware!  Download apps ONLY after you have read and really understood the terms of service and what you are giving up in the process.

For more information on the company K-Factors Media, LLC, its application, etc. you can visit their website at: MyCalendarBook.com or write to me for a copy of their TOS and or privacy policy, which I have printed and saved for future reference.

Part of my mission as a consumer advocate and member of the FarSuperior.com network, is to help consumers find Ad Free, Spam Free and Consumer Friendly sites that enhance their Internet experience, not add to the junk email and advertisement frustration they are already experiencing daily.

It you come across a new product, program or application that you are concerned about how the company treats your privacy and information, please feel free to contact me and I will check it out and post my findings.  There are a lot of great programs and applications on the market today that can make your life easier and business more productive.  There are also those programs and applications that are designed to do just the opposite.    Best wishes for your safe Internet surfing.

 

 

 

4 Replies

  1. I need to know how to reach this company ASAP! When I added it on my Facebook i noticed they used my little girls pictures on dating site advertisement! I want to do something but I don’t know where to start! Please help!

    1. Teresa, Please contact my office ASAP and get us the details so we can track this down and get the authorities involved. Call us at 800-430-6322 Ext 1111 Wayne

  2. Thanks Wayne. It sounds like you are trying to be fair to K-factor, but it just doesn’t seem to be a good deal. I agree. Many of us give up little pieces of our privacy all the time on the web. Sometimes its worth the small price. But this seems to be a case of giving up a great deal of our privacy, and that of our friends which has been entrusted to us. And for what? What’s the upside for us? FB already reminds us of our friend’s birthdays. Just say no to “I Want to Add Your Birthday”!

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