11/19/2005

Spyware, SPY BLOCK Act approved by Senate

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 12:49 pm

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation reported the Software Principles Yielding Better Levels of Consumer Knowledge Act or the 鈥淪PY BLOCK Act,鈥? by unanimous consent. The bill would outlaw a number of activities that are associated with spyware and strengthen the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)鈥檚 enforcement authority.

The SPY BLOCK Act targets three main consumer harms: taking control of a user鈥檚 computer, software that triggers advertising out of context with the use of the computer, and undisclosed collection of personal information.

The bill identifies a series of unfair and deceptive practices, which include computer hijacking, spam zombies, endless loop pop-up advertisements, and fraudulent and false installation. In addition, the SPY BLOCK Act outlaws modem hijacking, which allows spyware companies to charge overseas phone calls to victims, and denial of service attacks, which coordinate computers to attack government and other webpages.

The substitute prohibits personal information collection when the collection is not 鈥渃learly and conspicuously disclosed鈥? or advertised as part of the software鈥檚 purpose. If sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers or account numbers, is being collected, then a notice and consent regime is required. In addition, users must be able to uninstall any software that collects personal information.

Source: technologynewsdaily.com

 

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