180Solutions Latest Attempt At Cleaning Up Its Adware Act Seems To Fall Short

from the why-use-distributors-at-all? dept

180Solutions is one of the big recognizable “adware” players out there — and like most of the others it has a terrible reputation that it’s hoping to clean up. The company recently hired a PR exec from Microsoft, and since then has been doing things like suing certain “rogue” distributors — which certainly seems like a better plan than rewarding those distributors with a buyout. The company also announced in June that in order to deal with the claims that its software was installed surreptitiously, it would pop-up a notice telling people that the software was installed and offering them “tips” on how to remove it (rather than simply asking people if they’d like to keep the software). Researchers took a close look at this “renotify” attempt and found it extremely lacking. The company’s latest attempt to deal with the distributor issue is to update its software in some not very clearly described way that they claim will make it harder for distributors to install the software surreptitiously. Of course, the company is also living in a fantasy world by claiming that “as many as 5 percent” of the installs of their offering are done through surreptitious means. Given the number of people complaining about their products, it seems quite likely that the percentage is much, much higher. As long as the company insists on using a distributor/affiliate method of getting their software out there, and paying them on a commission basis, the problem of such sneaky underhanded installs is only going to increase.

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