A class action complaint against adware company 180solutions was filed today in an Illinois United States District Court by attorneys Shawn M. Collins and David J. Fish of The Collins Law Firm. The complaint on behalf of residents of the United States and the state of Illinois charges that 180solutions downloaded spyware on computers illegally causing a number of damages. 180solutions' alleged illegal practices include deceptively distributing spyware files and preventing users from removing them, engaging in deceptive misconduct to download its spyware without users' knowledge or consent, lying to consumers about its spyware, etc.
Counts include computer fraud and abuse, violating Electronic Communications Privacy Act/Wiretap Act (United States), Trespass to Personal Property/Chattels, Consumer Fraud Act, Negligence, Computer Tampering and Invasion of Privacy, (Illinois). Numerous examples are given for each. On page 11, it states "Finally, the public health and safety is also threatened by 180solutions' spyware because it was distributed at an Internet site (and thus financially supported an Internet site) showing child pornography." At the bottom of page 14, it states "180solutions intended to profit, and did actually profit from its wrongful conduct by being able to obtain more adverting money by virtue of being downloaded onto more computers" and 180solutions knew that its conduct was deceptive and misleading [...]" and so on. A jury trial is demanded.
IANAL (I am not a lawyer) and can't comment on the legal issues, but I can confirm I've seen the behavior of 180's software as described in the filing. So much for all 180's recent attempts at good PR and changing their image.
The court document can be downloaded here.