Definitions of spyware have finally been agreed upon by the Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) as of last week. The Coalition is made up of a range of organisations, including software companies, security firms and consumer groups. The Coalition also published a risk modelling document which may be used to determine whether or not to label a piece of software as spyware, and will hold its first public meeting on 9 February at the Hyatt Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

The group defined spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies as those deployed without appropriate user consent and/or implemented in ways that impair user control over: material changes that affect their user experience, privacy, or system security; use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; and/or collection, use, and distribution of their personal or other sensitive information.