Chapell & Associates

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Giving New Meaning to 'Spyware'

Wired - July 12, 2005
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said that he couldn't define obscenity, but that he knew it when he saw it. The same has long been the case with spyware. It's not easy to define, but most people know it when parasitic programs suck up resources on their computer and clog their browsers with pop-up ads. Recognizing that one person's search toolbar is another's spyware, a coalition of consumer groups, ISPs and software companies announced on Tuesday that it has finally come up with a mutually agreeable definition for the internet plague.

The Chapell View
I have tremendous respect for Ari Schwartz' work, and am supportive of any group willing to engage in open discussions regarding Adware/Spyware/Cookies, Etc. And while I've often taken Adware companies to task for failing to provide consumers with meaninful notice and choice prior to installing software ONTO computer, I've also taken anti-spyware software companies to task when they don't provide meaninful notice and consent regarding programs they are REMOVING from consumer desktops.

I've noticed some of Ben Edelman's comments in the article. I don't know Ben personally, but he seems to be a really sharp guy. Given that Ben and Ari (on the surface anyway) would seem to share many of the same views on Adware and Spyware, I can't help but wonder why Ben would be so openly critical of this initiative at such an early stage.
posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 12, 2005

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