Internet security software company Symantec and Hotbar, a company that distributes an ad-supported Internet Explorer toolbar and skinning application have reached an out of court settlement. Their disagreement revolved around Symantec’s labeling of the Hotbar application as low-risk adware. The Symantec software package then allows users to uninstall hotbar. Hotbar threatened to sue Symantec five times before Symantec filed a lawsuit against Hotbar in order to clarify their definition of adware and confirm that their labeling of Hotbar was not illegal.
The according to the settlement, Symantec will continue to label Hotbar software as low-risk adware. “Through our risk evaluation process, we classify various adware programs in three categories: low risk, medium risk, and high risk. Low risk is something we generally recommend that users can ignore; medium risk is something we quarantine; and high risk is something we automatically remove. Hotbar’s programs operate in the low risk category and we leave it up to the customer to decide whether or not to remove the programs,” said Symantec Security Response director David Cole in a statement.
Hotbar advertising is supported by contextual and popup ads. They also have a premium version of their software without advertisements.