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Symantec files suit to label adware


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#1 quietman7

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 01:20 PM

Symantec files suit to label adware
Published: June 8, 2005, 11:08 AM PDT
By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Symantec has filed a lawsuit against a New York Internet company for the right to detect its toolbars as adware.

The suit against Hotbar.com, which does not seek any monetary damages, was filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, said Cris Paden, a Symantec spokesman. The move is a preemptive strike. Last October. Hotbar contacted Symantec, an Internet security software maker based in Cupertino, Calif. It complained about Symantec's enterprise antivirus products, which flag the Hotbar programs as adware, Paden said.

"We have been talking with (Hotbar) for the last several months, and over the course of that time, they have threatened to sue us on a regular basis," Paden said.

Hotbar did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Debate has gone on for years over adware and spyware, with manufacturers of the applications defending them as legitimate marketing tools. The terms are slippery, frequently used to apply both to information-thieving software and the advertising tools bundled with free software programs.

Makers of software judged to be adware or spyware often protest the labeling of their products as such by security software makers, to the point of threatening lawsuits. Microsoft, which offers an anti-spyware tool, last month asked the U.S. Senate to rewrite legislation to prevent such lawsuits.

Symantec said it is not asking for money, but is seeking an affirmation that Hotbar products are indeed adware and can be treated as security risks. "We are simply asking for the judge to say that we are within our rights to detect Hotbar," Paden said. The company would then be able to help customers remove the toolbars from their PCs.

Hotbar offers toolbars for Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser and Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail clients, according to the company's Web site. Symantec claimed in its lawsuit that the programs display ads based on keywords and log information on the PC user's Web browsing habits, possibly for use in targeted marketing.

Symantec customers have complained about Hotbar products, Paden said. Customers were not clear on what the programs were doing and found that they could not get rid of the applications, he said. Also, in some cases, the Hotbar programs were installed with other software or when a specific Web site was visited, unbeknownst to the user, according to the lawsuit.

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#2 ErikAlbert

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 05:20 PM

Although I'm not a fan of Symantec softwares. I hope Symantec WINS and Hotbar is even punished, but that won't happen.
As a user, I hate unwanted adwares/spywares. Any company who removes it, has my sympathy.
Adverts belong on websites only without dirty tricks. Period.
It's so simple, why making it so difficult.

Edited by ErikAlbert, 08 June 2005 - 05:25 PM.

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