You can't use your Facebook or Google credentials to sign into Yahoo's services anymore. Reuters is reporting that the search engine company has put the kibosh on the practice, though the change has not been completely rolled out yet.
The wire service revealed Yahoo’s plans to implement the transition gradually, citing a Yahoo spokesperson. The Internet giant will reportedly make users register for Yahoo IDs in order to use any of its services, including Flickr, its popular photo sharing site, and Fantasy Sports.
"Yahoo is continually working on improving the user experience, which includes our sign-in process for Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick'em," a Yahoo spokeswoman said in a published statement. "This new process, which now asks users to sign in with a Yahoo username, will allow us to offer the best personalized experience to everyone."
Yahoo is first laying down the law with Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’em, a fantasy college basketball site. When I tried to sign on to the site, though, it allowed me to do so with a Bellsouth.net account since Yahoo and AT&T have a partnership on the mail front. AT&T acquired Bellsouth in 2006.
We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his take on Yahoo’s sudden move. To him, the company’s reasoning is no mystery. He told us the search engine giant is simply trying to "reclaim" its users and get the data that comes from using a "native ID."
“This move makes sense for Yahoo though it may alienate some people who are used to logging in with Facebook,” Sterling said. “This is also important for Yahoo's drive toward personalization of all its services and advertising.”
Yahoo’s Digital Woes
The move comes less than three months after Yahoo Mail’s massive outage and just more than a month after Yahoo Mail was hacked and user passwords were stolen. Yahoo is working with federal law enforcement to find and prosecute the perpetrators responsible for this attack.
Since then, Jay Rossiter, senior vice president of Platforms and Personalization Products at Yahoo, said the company has implemented additional measures to block attacks against Yahoo’s systems.
“In addition to adopting better password practices by changing your password regularly and using different variations of symbols and characters, users should never use the same password on multiple sites or services,” Rossiter said. “Using the same password on multiple sites or services makes users particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks.”
But that wasn’t the last of Yahoo’s recent woes. According to a report in The Guardian, GCHQ, Britain’s surveillance agency, is working with the NSA to intercept and store webcam images of millions of Internet users. The paper cited “secret documents” that reveal that the subjects of the snooping were not even suspected of any crimes. The Yahoo webcam was smack dab in the center of the controversy.
"We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity,” Yahoo said in a statement. “This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy that is completely unacceptable, and we strongly call on the world's governments to reform surveillance law consistent with the principles we outlined in December."