FTC Says No Spyware Laws Needed Just Yet

from the let's-let-the-problem-get-worse dept

While I agree that rushing into anti-spyware/adware legislation wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing, it’s pretty clear that “self-regulation” isn’t currently working. Still, that’s what the FTC is recommending rather than any kind of anti-spyware legislation, such as the new Utah law that requires adware/spyware makers to inform users what their programs are doing. The FTC admits that certain deceptive practices may be illegal already, and they can go after those companies – but so far it’s obviously done very little to stop the spread of spyware. Instead, the FTC recommends “education” which certainly hasn’t done much to stop the spread of other internet hazards like viruses, spam, and phishing attacks. What’s more likely to happen is that, as with those other threats, people are going to increasingly need to get their hands on anti-spyware applications which will work some (but not all) of the time. While many tech savvy people already use such applications, others are going to expect their ISP to protect them, which, so far, they’ve been unwilling to do.

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