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.: 180Solutions Slapped with Adware Installation Complaint - 27th Jan 2006

"A high-profile consumer advocacy group has asked the FTC to pull the plug on the "illegal and deceptive practices" used by adware vendor 180Solutions Inc. to install unwanted software on millions of computers.

A complaint from the nonprofit CDT (Center for Democracy & Technology) accused 180Solutions of using a complicated web of affiliate partnerships to deliberately trick consumers into downloading and installing intrusive adware programs..."

.: Microsoft Readies Second Anti-Spyware Beta - 27th Jan 2006

"Windows Defender, Microsoft's free anti-spyware program that's been in beta for more than a year, will shift into its second round of testing in the next two months, developers for the Redmond, Wash. company said recently in an online chat.

Defender is the new brand name for what Microsoft still calls Windows AntiSpyware, the add-on that's been in Beta 1 since it debuted more than a year ago. Beta 1 only works in Windows XP..."

.: ChoicePoint to pay $15 million over data leak - 27th Jan 2006

"Data broker ChoicePoint will pay $15 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its lax procedures violated consumer protection laws, the agency said Thursday.

Under the settlement, the Atlanta-based company agreed to hand over $10 million in civil penalties to the FTC, the largest civil fine in the agency's history. It will also provide $5 million to recompense consumers who suffered as a result of ChoicePoint's actions. In February of last year, the data aggregator acknowledged that its database of consumer records had been accessed by suspected criminals passing themselves off as legitimate customers. The financial data of 163,000 people was exposed in the breach, and at least 800 cases of identity theft arose from it, the FTC noted..."

.: Cookies not so sweet when harming your computer - 27th Jan 2006

"Cookies may be bad for your waistline, but they can be an even worst disaster for your computer. If you haven't already done so, it's time to put your computer on a cookie diet.

I purchased a new computer a few months ago and it was constantly crashing. One of the problems was that the Palm 650 TREO software and Windows XP don't like each other, and when these two conflict, your machine crashes. I was also running Norton AntiVirus, but because of all the problems I was experiencing, I was reluctant to install anything else. Big mistake. Even though I was removing my cookies regularly, the machine was still crashing and acting weird. The real culprit, much to my chagrin, turned out to be something that is even more intrusive than most cookies called adware..."

.: Google, Sun, Others Out To Shame Spyware - 26th Jan 2006

"A jointly run site will initially act as a clearinghouse for information about so-called badware, but the group also promised a more proactive role.

Several technology companies, consumer groups, and academics banded together Wednesday to form an organization that will shine a light on shady spyware and adware to call attention to their transgressions. The group, which calls itself, is headed by Harvard Law's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Oxford University's Oxford Internet Institute, backed by Google, Sun Microsystems, and Lenovo, and assisted by Consumer Reports' WebWatch..."

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