Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Few solutions pop up at FTC adware workshop: "Spyware, adware and other code that lurks on hard drives has become so pervasive it's bedeviling home users, driving corporate technology managers to distraction and has become the top complaint in customer service calls to computer makers.

"But participants in a one-day workshop convened Monday by the Federal Trade Commission couldn't decide what to do about it."

"McAfee Security manager Bryson Gordon, whose company sells the McAfee AntiSpyware utility, says his company detected fewer than 2 million adware or spyware products in August 2003. By March 2004, the total number had zoomed to just more than 14 million. It's become 'a larger technical support problem than viruses,' Gordon said."

"Jennifer Baird, legislative counsel to Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., said the technology industry was naive to think that politicians would sit idle while companies debated definitions. 'What we're hearing is that, "This is a problem, it should be solved, but we don't know how to do that, hold on,"' said Baird, whose boss has introduced an antispyware bill. 'That's not how it works in Congress.'"

"Google senior policy counsel Andrew McLaughlin said his employer is 'probably a little less allergic to legislation,' but went on to say, 'the more that I look at the text of the bills that are floating around, the more nervous I become.' Google makes available a toolbar utility for Web browsers that eliminates pop-up ads and, if the user chooses, sends information about Web sites visited back to the company."

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