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Innovation

FTC on Spyware

Dateline CeBIT, Hannover, GermanyThe FTC has published a report and conclusions from the workshop they held April 19th, 2004. The timing is significant because the House Commerce Committee has voted on and forwarded the SPY bill (HR 29) to the full House.
Written by Richard Stiennon, Contributor on

Dateline CeBIT, Hannover, Germany

The FTC has published a report and conclusions from the workshop they held April 19th, 2004. The timing is significant because the House Commerce Committee has voted on and forwarded the SPY bill (HR 29) to the full House. The FTC has long maintained that it already has sufficient authority to prosecute spyware vendors.

The report is disturbing it its attempt to be open minded about the pernicious types of software that are finding their way onto computers. It even acknowledges that some types of adware may be a benefit to consumers. Please email me immediately at feedback@threatchaos.com if you feel that adware belongs on your computer!

In this report the FTC describes three issues in even defining Spyware. My thoughts on these three:

1. Defining Consent. One component of defining spyware is the issue of consent. Spyware includes software that is installed without user consent. I suggest that spyware writers will always be able to finagle some claim to consent. Either in the End User License Agreement (EULA) or in some “I Agree

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