FTC wants to hit the spyware guys where it hurts

The Federal Trade Commission told a US Senate committee it could bring new vigor to the fight against spyware by making spyware purveyors pay civil penalties. Under current statutes, the federal watchdog agency can file lawsuits in spyware cases that seek court orders and monetary fines for ill-gotten gains, but not for punitive damages. FTC Deputy Director Eileen Harrington said the limitation makes it harder to mete out meaningful punishments on violators.

"It has been the agency's experience in spyware cases, however, that restitution or disgorgement may not be appropriate or sufficient remedies because consumers often have not purchased a product or service from defendants, the harm to consumers may be difficult to quantify, or the defendants' profits may be slim or difficult to calculate with certainty," she wrote in prepared comments (pdf) submitted on Wednesday. "In such cases, a civil penalty may be the most appropriate remedy and serve as a strong deterrent."

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15 Comments

Yeah, instead of servicing the RIAA agenda of suing non-issue file sharers, how about the government starts spending some effort on protecting the 300 million Americans who are affected by spyware and malware every friggin day?! 8P

Bad news for Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, Valve, George W. Bush, and everyone else who has been tracking users or spying on their info.

That is, if the FTC really does anything about this. They won't.

I hope this covers things like Google toolbar which has no business to be bundled with the many of the software.
The real purpose is to allow Google to spy on people's web habits.
Every single page you visit is send to google servers not just the search query.

(Express said @ #6)
I hope this covers things like Google toolbar which has no business to be bundled with the many of the software.
The real purpose is to allow Google to spy on people's web habits.
Every single page you visit is send to google servers not just the search query. :angry:

I've never seen an installer that forces it on you... they always give you the option to not install it.
There are so many benefits to the google toolbar for some people, so that's the trade off.
If you don't want to send your browsing habits to google then you can turn off that part of the toolbar in the options.

Perhaps you'd like some cheese with your whine?

about time indeed.

they went after spam with a law a few years ago and spyware which is even worst is definitely needed on the list.

After all spyware and malware is stealing your data and destroying your system. They need to pay.

For those who think this will fail, I'm sure you LOVE to have 1000 spywares installed on your PC! how cool is that?!

These kinda war will never fail because they have nothing to affect you, this "war" only makes your computer cleaner!

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