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The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC), an alliance of software companies, security firms and consumer organisations, has agreed a set of guidelines on detecting invasive finalised spyware. The final draft of the ASC's "risk-modeling description" aims to give an objective criteria on whether a program is malign. A draft of this description was thrown open for public comment in October and the final version that's emerged is essentially an expanded and polished version of what we had back then.

The group defines spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies as deployed without appropriate user consent and/or implemented in ways that impair user control over: material changes that affect their user experience, privacy, or system security; use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; and/or collection, use, and distribution of their personal or other sensitive information.

The final "risk modeling" document, which explains the criteria anti-spyware vendors use to determine whether or not to label a piece of software as "spyware" can be found here.

In addition, ASC finalised the list of speakers for its first public meeting (snappily subtitled Defining the Problem, Creating Solutions) which is due to take place on 9 February at the Hyatt Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras will keynote at the single day event, which will also feature federal regulators, and top state technology and law enforcement officials. ®

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