Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids' online activities might be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's chat messages -- and sell the marketing data thus gathered, reports the Associated Press (AP).

Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music, or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.

"This scares me more than anything I have seen...

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