LifeLock Sued Over Search Ad ID Theft
"We have discovered that LifeLock has been sponsoring advertisements on most major search engines including (among others) Google, Yahoo, Lycos, MSN, Dogpile, and AOL, that deceptively led consumers to Lifelock.com. Specifically, when you searched 'Namesafe.com' in any major search engine, you found an advertisement that said 'Namesafe.com' but when you clicked on it, you were not directed to the official site for NAMESAFE (www.namesafe.com), but rather to our competitor, LifeLock.com," said NAMESAFE founder and CEO David Ridings. "It is one of the most bizarre attempts to steal a company brand and its costumers that I have personally seen. Ironically enough, we consider it a form of 'corporate identity theft' from a company that is in the business of protecting identities, and we really could not tolerate it. Having said that, we expect it will stop today."
An exhibit in the lawsuit purports to show a search for NAMESAFE that shows NAMESAFE's name as the top sponsored result, however, the link is to LifeLock's Web site. You can see the exhibit by clicking the above smaller image to enlarge it. In a sense, this is ironic, since both firms are in the business of protecting consumers against ID theft and this is sort of corporate ID theft. However, we tried searching for NAMESAFE ourselves, in several search engines, and didn't get a result like above. It's quite possible that NAMESAFE got what it expected: LifeLock dropping the ads. We wouldn't expect the suit to be dropped, however, at least not until some restitution is made.