Will spyware/adware turn out to be a bigger threat than spam?
So how do we combat it?
In keeping with the tradtional US approach, the first step should be to increase consumer awareness, promote technical solutions and establish industry best practices. State level spyware legislations could create several potential problems; including inconsistent state level notice and consent requirements, overbroad enforcement implications and might ultimately do more harm than good for e-commerce and consumers interests. However, as the issue of spyware/adware gathers more media attention, it will increase the urgency of lawmakers to propose quick solutions.
The spam craze spun lawmakers into frenzied action all over the world. In the US, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 preempted more than 30 state laws in an effort to bring about uniformity to the legal efforts to combat spam. However, spam reportedly accounted for 82% of all U.S. email last month.
Further, the EU does not seem to be having much luck with its new spam directive either.
Although the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the Can-Spam Act, Congress might end up going down the same path on the issue of spyware if self-regulation fails.