Monday, October 11, 2004

Spyware deemed illegal

The US government has passed a bill that would make spyware illegal.

This was long over due considering that most of the spyware/adware... on the Internet originate from US!

Victory at last (or is it?).

4 comments:

Rafay Bin Ali said...

Not all adware is bad. Has anybody ever wondered how companies like Google and Microsoft (Hotmail) continue to provide free services, despite the notoriously high level of investment involved? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to pay for services that we
have begin to love - and sadly, taking for granted? It is advertising that pays our bills. It is advertising that enables us to make us of email, chat, etc.

Countries like The United States and The United Kingdom also have Internet providers - YES! no hourly charges!
Advertising makes it possible.

So what is so bad in some marketing company analyzing your interests on the Internet. Such marketing effots are only undertaken to understand the consumers better and deliver better products. I am posting on this blog for free. Spider has this blog for FREE as well. But trust me, there is significant expenditure involved in the maintenance of such services.

It is more about customer satisfaction than about hacking the privacy of the individual, as some pundits have most of us believe.

Sure spam mail can be a nuisance at times and has its cons. But then again, what doesn't?

Rafay Bin Ali said...

Not all adware is bad. Has anybody ever wondered how companies like Google and Microsoft (Hotmail) continue to provide free services, despite the notoriously high level of investment involved? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to pay for services that we
have begin to love - and sadly, taking for granted? It is advertising that pays our bills. It is advertising that enables us to make us of email, chat, etc.

Countries like The United States and The United Kingdom also have Internet providers - YES! no hourly charges!
Advertising makes it possible.

So what is so bad in some marketing company analyzing your interests on the Internet. Such marketing effots are only undertaken to understand the consumers better and deliver better products. I am posting on this blog for free. Spider has this blog for FREE as well. But trust me, there is significant expenditure involved in the maintenance of such services.

It is more about customer satisfaction than about hacking the privacy of the individual, as some pundits have most of us believe.

Sure spam mail can be a nuisance at times and has its cons. But then again, what doesn't?

Merlinx said...

Agreed that advertising is a major component of all commerce (brick or click) but that doesn't mean it should start getting in your hair like ants after a spring rain.

The furore isn't because anyone advertises, it is because they solicit to you when you haven't permitted them in the first place and when you tell someone to stop soliciting to you, they assume other aliases and questionable techniques and come back again. That is spam.

Then on top of it you have them discreetly sniffing out personal information about you through your electronic communications to help their soliciting activities, usually without your consent and leaving behind annoying tidbits like doggy-doo on your lawn e.g. pop-ups or irritating components installed in your browser that are hard to remove and alter its normal working. This is adware/spyware.

For you it may not be an issue to find dozens of unwanted emails dumped in your mailbox everyday or every week, but in a professional environment, it can by anywhere from annoying to damaging if you're getting trash emails obscuring your actual emails by cluttering up your mailbox. I have seen many cases of people inadvertently deleting emails they were supposed to respond to along with junk mail, or spam control filters accidentally deleting an actual mail once in a blue moon, or adware/spyware junk taking down workstations in office environments. If you know how much of advertising drives free services that we take for granted, do you also know how much spam and spyware costs businesses as a result of THESE things?

Anti-spam and anti-spyware legislation isn't focused at stopping any kind of advertising, it's focused at curtailing all these surreptitious practices because THEY also cost us.

Rafay Bin Ali said...

Yup you are absolutely right. I do not disagree with anything that you have said. However, it seems that you have overlooked the last line of my comment that reads something like this "every thing has its share of flaws and so does spyware."

However, the benefits of consumer ware ( i dont like to call it spyware therefore i will refer to it as consumerware) are far greater than the losses to businesses. And you know why? Because, these losses are implicit in nature. Companies need information on consumers, their tastes, preferences, online behavior to introduce better products and services. The consumer behavior online is quite different and it is the need of the hour to figure out the needs and exploit them.

As far as the losses to businesses, if the consumer information is not accurately predicted by a business and competitive intelligence is gained, a business would fail to sustain. It would be soon out of business.

Of course, any spyware with trojan horses or malicious code is not acceptable and legislation should deal with those aspects.

Do you think Google and other big companies can provide services to us without any snooping into our personal lives? Trust me, Google and MSN are probably the biggest patrons of this whole spyware deal.

Rafay Bin Ali
http://rafayali.blogspot.com
http://www.rafay.com02.com
rafayali@gmail.com