FTC to shame companies creating adware

By Justin Mann on February 10, 2006, 7:27 PM
How far can guilt really go in the corporate world? We're heard earlier today about how 2005 was the worst year for spyware and adware, and with companies blatantly denying spyware-like activities while obviously doing it, it doesn't seem to be getting better. The FTC hopes that guilt can heal. The FTC's plan is to specifically target companies that utilize adware and spyware in an attempt to either discredit or shame the company into changing their behaivor.

"The dissemination of harmful, un-removable programs that frustrate consumers' ability to control their own computers is digital carjacking, and we intend to vigorously prosecute it," she said in a speech. "Spyware presents serious new challenges in detection, apprehension and enforcement, but through litigation, the FTC has successfully challenged the distribution of spyware."
There are many attempts to do this currently run by individuals or other non-profits, and this practice in general isn't anything new. There are many sites in which horror stories of company behavior is made public, for better or for worse. It's worth trying, at least, with many businesses plainly stating they will do it as long as it is effective, despite the outcry against it.

User Comments: 8

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JMMD said:
If the companies are producing adware, spyware, malware, etc. shaming them is not going to change their activities at all. The only way to truly stop them it to hit them where it hurts. Heavy fines and the possibility of jail-time would certainly stop some of the companies. It may eventually send them underground or out of the reach of our law enforcement but if it stops any of it, it's doing some good.
cyrax said:
I agree, shame them, fine them, and then blacklist them. If no one will do business with them, they will feel the pain.
otmakus said:
Is it not illegal to spread spyware to unsuspecting users, damaging their system or monitoring their internet activities for profit? Those companies are openly saying that they use spyware, it's because there's no law governing which is illegal and which is not, and no fixed punishment for the one doing it, that spyware are flourishing right now. If it's profitable and can't be punished, then why not?
MonkeyMan said:
Well, one thing is for sure, 2005 was the absolute worst year truly. 2006 doesn't seem to be getting any better, but there is always room to improve.
Need_a_Dell said:
Bringing this information to light may sway the public away from these programs. In doing so, these companies that are under fire will realize that they need to change, and in turn will scrap the adware/malware/spyware shtick. I think that this is a great approach to getting stuff done, and in this case everyone will benefit. (Especially your computer!)
Race said:
It's up and running, so if you can contribute, do so....and if not, it'll certainly be worth monitoring.StopBadware.org.
gamingmage said:
Good idea, this may or hopefully will work.
nathanskywalker said:
[quote]vigorously prosecute it," [/quote] Rock on!!! with ya all the way. The use of spyware, adware and the like should not be permitted. those who do use such methods for corporate gain should be punished.
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