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SCI/TECH: California to Fine Spyware Spys

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posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 01:33 PM
Starting on the First of the year a new law will be in place in California protecting internet users from spy-ware programs. The Consumer Protection Against Spyware Act makes it illegal for someone to put a program on you computer that can take control of it. People effected by spy-ware are able to file for up to a thousand dollars in damages.
In Washington, Congress has been debating four anti-spyware bills, but California is a step ahead.

The state's Consumer Protection Against Spyware Act bans the installation of software that takes control of another computer.

It also requires companies and websites to disclose whether their systems will install spyware.

Consumers are able to seek up to $1,000 in damages if they think they have fallen victim to the intrusive software.

The new law marks a continuing trend in California towards tougher privacy rights.

A recent survey by Earthlink and Webroot found that 90% of PCs are infested with the surreptitious software and that, on average, each one is harbouring 28 separate spyware programs.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

What's not clear is how they plan on going about all this. It seems like it will be a monumental task if all people that are harmed by spyware file grievances.

I'm quite happy to hear that some pro-active steps are being taken against this kind of thing. I've had my computer hijacked too many times (until I installed Mozilla). It's one of the most frustrating things a computer user can encounter!

From the CA Department of Consumer Affairs:

Computer Spyware Ė SB 1436 (Murray, D-Los Angeles) Ė Establishes the Consumer Protection Against Spyware Act, which prohibits an unauthorized person or entity from knowingly or willfully installing software on a consumerís computer that would take over control of the computer, modify certain security settings, deceptively collect certain personally identifiable information, interfere with removal of certain spyware, or otherwise deceive the authorized user, as specified.

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Related Discussion Threads:

[edit on (1/1/0505 by PistolPete]

posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 01:44 PM
A step in the right direction in my opinion.

It appears to me that a lot of these Spyware people are a law unto themselves. I constantly have to use SpyBot Search and Destroy on my PC to clean it out. A minor inconvenience, you may say, but its the privacy issue that is my concern.

Well done California!

posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 03:10 PM
about time

when a curious kid does it he gets called a hacker but when some suit and tie does it then its like nothing is wrong.

its a step in the right direction but it seems shy of treating a spade as a spade.

posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 08:15 PM
I agree with the analogy someone who has no ties to a corporation who does this is deemed a hacker. When it takes this long to put a law into place that may eventually prosecute some of these business thugs it is usually due to a special interest/connection within a larger, known company. In other words corporations use whatever will likely have no trail to them to suit their cause; more money for the vanity of face value and assumption. Though most countries stock exchange systems are based on real things, they are still at heart a legal way to gamble with "billions". It's a gamble because value in stocks is based off of verifiable assumptions, though anything can happen. Perhapse a little off subject, but it's just another piece to why this took so long to enact as law.

posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 09:01 PM
Great news. I think this should be made a federal law now. I would also suggest that other nations follow suit.

I only said that because we do not have extradiction agreements/treaties with all nations.

posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 07:29 AM
I was victim to a spyware attack last week on my office PC. Took two days to get it back. I'm glad to see California is finally banning something that is truly harmful. Its one thing to spam email accounts ( I loathe that too) but quite another to install software without permission. I think this charge needs to be bumped up to felony with jail time. I think we have put up with this kind of thing long enough. How great and useful would the internet be if this one aspect were removed?

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