Claria collects information from the user with the help of their ad-delivery software. The information is silently sent back to Clarias servers.
This information is collected:
- visited URLs
- web forms
- search queries
- information about how long a web page was viewed
- system configuration
- zip code
Claria claims to use the collected information to:
- display relevant advertisements
- detect web trends
- aggregate data to perform research
- share collected information with 3rd party advertising partners
- share behavioral profile and demographic information with 3rd party websites
- transmit search queries to search partners
Advertisements are displayed as pop-ups in various flavors while browsing the web. The number of ads are not excessive but still in the amount of several per day.
Claria uses a "trickler" to delay installation of the ad-delivery software. When installing an ad-supported software the "trickler" is added to your temporary files and after a while set to action to download and install the ad-delivery software. This will make sure the latest version is received but also confuse the user, making it difficult to understand where the ad-delivery software originated.
Claria distributes mostly with bundled installations, for example with their own screen savers. The concept is to make the wanted software free by including advertisement software to show advertisements to the end user. The advertisement software is also conducting advanced tracking of the users' behavior and usage.
To be able to deliver localized advertisements to the user, some of the software that GAIN Publishing distributes requires demographic information, forcing the using to provide Claria with country and zip code in order to function. An example of this is Weatherscope.
Claria is an advertisement company using the name GAIN Publishing as distributor of their ad-delivery software to end-users. GAIN Publishing is however a part of the Claria corporation and therefore called Claria by F-Secure.
Some of GAIN Publishing's software reinstalls the ad-delivery software if it was removed.