April 18, 2004

FTC to evaluate "spyware"

Or - why Windows PC's can be unsafe at any speed. Yuki Noguchi writes

The Federal Trade Commission today is hosting a daylong workshop in Washington to discuss the effects of hidden software that may be used to control or spy on a computer without its user's knowledge.

So far most "spyware" and "adware" programs, often placed on Windows PCs by such downloaded programs as file-sharing programs, appear to have been used for the relatively benign purpose of tracking consumer preferences, said Howard Beales, director of the FTC's consumer protection division. The FTC is watching to see if criminals start making widespread use of this technology to steal credit-card and Social Security numbers of unwitting computer users, he said.

"So far [we] haven't thought that it warranted regulation," he said.

Some organizations, including the Madison schools, only support a computing monoculture - fertile ground for spyware.....

Posted by James Zellmer at April 18, 2004 10:33 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Elections | Technology