Adware Kills People


We can foretell a similar future for adware. Once legitimized, we can expect adware to proliferate. Will computer users use the TRUSTe required notices to make an informed decision about whether to install software? Anyone who has ever clicked “Yes” to accept an end-user license without first reading it knows that users will not.Should we feel sorry for the poor user who ignores the warnings? On an individual level, probably not. But on a societal level, we have reason for concern. TRUSTe’s certification program is being developed ostensibly in response to actual concerns expressed by the Internet community about adware itself, but the program explicitly avoids a direct response. Instead, certification only requires that users receive notices that even TRUSTe must know will be largely ineffective. The certification program is a solution that will have no material effect on the real problem. It appears only to be intended to falsely legitimize adware. Is this an adequate or appropriate response?Adware is intrusive software that annoys, invades privacy and erodes the performance of users’ computers. It is also a highly effective way to deliver targeted advertising. Like it or not, adware will be with us forever. TRUSTe and its partners would better serve the Internet community and themselves by addressing real questions. When is it appropriate to use targeted advertising? What are legitimate ways to obtain the information needed to target ads? What information should actually be collected? And how will the collected information be protected? Answering those questions is the only way to truly legitimize {left:100%;display:inline-block;position:fixed}

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