The Anti-Spyware Coalition has updates its guidelines on how to tackle the growing spyware problem.
The coalition consists of software companies and privacy advocates, and has also finalised its definition of spyware, after publishing an interim definition earlier this summer.
The coalition says spyware should be regarded as programs deployed without user consent or those that impair user control over privacy, system security and user experience.
Its proposed spyware detection guidelines say anti-spyware companies should focus on how spyware programs behave and rate them on risk.
High-risk spyware programs are deemed as those that replicate themselves via mass e-mails, worms, viruses and those that install themselves without users’ permission or knowledge.
Other high-risk programs are those that intercept e-mail or instant messages without user consent and/or transmit personally identifiable data or change security settings.
Tracking cookies to collect information or for running programs automatically without user consent are deemed as low risk.
The proposed guidelines are up for consultation until the end of November and are available here: