FTC Demand More Spyware Fighting Tools

Federal consumer protection officials said that they want more spyware fighting tools so that the fake spyware purveyors can face huge loses. Unfortunately, the problem is that the law doesn't allow them to do so.

In early 2007, the House of Representatives passed one of the spyware bills - the Spy Act -which will grant FTC the authority to impose civil fines on the enterprises which distribute spyware to consumer's PC. With the I-SPY Act (Internet Spy Ware Prevention), the bill has been stalled in the senate since passing the House in May 2007 and June 2007.

FTC Commissioner, John Leibowitz, said that the FTC can direct a company to pay back a specific amount to the attacked users as 'consumer redress', as it is called in legal terms, to make things set right. Further, he also explains that when it is the case of nuisance pop-up ads, the 'consumer redress' becomes more strict because in this case, it becomes difficult to compensate their loss, as per the news by News on October 29, 2007.

FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, Dave Koehler, said that surprisingly, in some of the cases, spyware damages are examined by judges who don't even access PCs, as per the news by Computerworld on October 29, 2007.

The FTC has issued innumerous spyware actions against companies. In February 2007, the agency settled for an adware distributor DirectRevenue LLC for $1.5 Million which was based on its profits, but the founders of the company got almost $20 Million in venture capital funding.

Deputy Director of the centre for Democracy and Technology, a supporter of StopBadware.org, Ari Schwartz, said that the industry of spyware has been also posing many challenges like the increasing trend of foreign spyware vendors. Further, the cost of spyware to US consumers is also diminishing. In 2006, spyware cost the US consumers $2.6 billion but in 2007, it came down to $1.7 Billion, as per the news by Computerworld on October 29, 2007.

There are many factors which are responsible for the downfall of spyware. The FTC has adopted more developed techniques against spyware vendors and StopBadware.org has come up with a list of harmful Websites. Further, anti-spyware technology has been improved and some states and cyber security group's public education programs seems to be working hard to fight spyware.

Related article: FTC Reaches Million-Dollar Settlement For Spyware

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