Thursday, May 20, 2004

California Anti-Spyware Bills Progress

SB 1436, introduced by Sen. Kevin Murray was sent to the Assembly by a 36-2 vote and AB 2787, introduced by Assemblyman Tim Leslie is scheduled to be heard by the full Assembly next week.

Google Releases Spyware Prevention Guidelines

I personally think this is a great move by Google and although they have their own interests in mind, I'm glad they've made an attempt and its been done in a simplistic manner (the way we've grown to expect things from them).

Friday, May 07, 2004

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.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

New Federal Spyware Bill Introduced

Rep. Jay Inslee introduced a Spyware bill which requires advertising software to include a Notice that us not materially false or misleading and include directions on how internet users can uninstall or disable such software. Further, obtaining the consent of the users is cotoguous on the notice provided and users must reasonably understand the functions to which such consent is granted. The bill grants the FTC authority to enforce the law and impose fines and penalties. In other news, Rep. Mary Bono plans to re-introduced a revised version of Bill Number HR2929 in the near future.

Lawmakers seem determined to find a regulatory solution to spyware, although the FTC as well as the technology industry are of the opinion that a legislation would do more damage than good.