This Software Is Spyware Free
from the what-about-Sony-BMG-CDs? dept
A group of big internet companies are apparently teaming up to certify downloadable software to make sure it's "consumer-friendly and non-invasive" (read: spyware free). The testing will be done by TRUSTe, who is known for reviewing e-commerce websites for trustworthiness. However, while that system (which results in sites getting a little logo they can paste on their sites) has had mixed results, the way this program is set up may be more effective. It's not about giving the software publishers a seal of approval to publicly show off -- but to create an overall list of safe applications. Then, sites that aggregate programs for download can make sure they only offer programs that made it onto the list. Even more importantly, companies that advertise in some of these software programs can look through the list to make sure they only advertise on "consumer friendly" applications. What's not clear, however, is what criteria the testing labs will use to test whether or not the software really is consumer friendly. Obviously, this could lead to some arguments -- but overall, it sounds like a good first step in setting up some incentives for software developers to be more consumer friendly and for advertisers to avoid supporting those who miss the mark.