Feeds

Industry body to certify adware

It's all about TRUSTe

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

An industry group formed to promote trust between consumers and websites will begin certifying adware programs starting next year, the organization announced on Wednesday.

The group, TRUSTe, will put programs that meet certain criteria - such as only installing themselves after users accept an explicit agreement and allowing easy removal of the program - on a whitelist of so-called Trusted Download Programs. Sponsors of the organization, such as Yahoo!, AOL, Computer Associates, CNET Networks and Verizon, plan to use the tool to make business decisions, TRUSTe said in its statement.

Adware providers have widely skirted legal boundaries in the past, and trampled over the rights of many PC users by installing a variety of advertising software and spyware without adequate notification to the consumer. Such tactics net the industry a large windfall, with some analysts estimating that each PC installation nets the adware firm $3 a year for a total annual revenue of $2bn in 2004.

Such tactics have faced stiff criticism from consumers and digital rights activists. Media giant Sony BMG is the latest company to come under fire for installing software with inadequate notification. Security researchers found that the company's copy protection used tactics commonly found in the rootkits used by online attackers and did not call out the function of the program before installation.

The Trusted Download Program will better inform users about adware. The program requires that current PC users that have adware on their systems be asked to agree again to have a Trusted Download Program installed on their machines. The program will launch in a beta format early next year. Microsoft and the policy think tank Center for Democracy and Technology provided guidance on the program, according to TRUSTe.

Copyright © 2005, SecurityFocus

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.