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Coalition Issue Definitions For 'Spyware' Print E-mail
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Source: Security Pipeline - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Privacy Anti-spyware vendors and consumer groups took a stab at issuing uniform definitions for "spyware" and "adware" on Tuesday in hopes of giving computer users more control over their machines.

The definitions seek clarity that could help improve anti-spyware products, educate consumers and fend off lawsuits from developers of software that sneaks onto computers.

It's not clear what, if anything, the taxonomy itself might accomplish in ending the deception involved in placing intrusive and damaging programs on people's computers.

The 13-page document is silent, for instance, on what developers must do to obtain consent from consumers. Nor does the document, still formally a draft, clearly state how specific programs might fall under a certain category. "It's not the end game but it's a great starting point," said Dave Cole, director of product management at Symantec Corp., a member of the coalition that spent three months crafting the terms. "You've got to have a foundation, a common vocabulary to start with ... and have all of us speak the same language."

Forty-three percent of adult U.S. Internet users say they've been hit with spyware, adware or both, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. More than 90 percent of Internet users have changed their online behavior, meanwhile, to try to avoid becoming victimized.

Read this full article at Security Pipeline

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