Coalition agrees on spyware guidelines

News Analysis

Coalition agrees on spyware guidelines

The Anti-Spyware Coalition, whose members include Microsoft, Symantec, Computer Associates, McAfee, AOL and Yahoo, has finalised its spyware detection guidelines after taking into account public comments on a proposed version introduced last October.
 
Spyware and adware have become more hated than worms or viruses for their snide distribution tactics, unauthorised data gathering and needless use of computer processing power.

The Anti-Spyware Coalition's guidelines aim to provide a common way to classify spyware, based on the risks a piece of software poses to consumers. They also suggest ways to handle software, based on those risk levels.
 
The coalition hopes the final guidelines will now lead to better anti-spyware products. One IT security and risk management company, Cybertrust, is now planning to certify products that meet the guidelines. Consumers should see the first products with its anti-spyware seal of approval within the next few months.

The guidelines themselves have yet to gain wholehearted support. Some critics fear guidelines will legitimise spyware and enable distributors to dodge blocking tools.

Well, the guidelines are a start. Anything that helps neutralise spyware and eradicates the stuff from users’ PCs would be welcome.


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