Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    968
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    MS Antispy downgrades Claria (Gator) spyware

    Ooops. M$ gets caught with fingers in cookie jar.
    <hr>The New York Times reported recently that Microsoft has been negotiating to buy the controversial spyware company Claria for $500 million, an interesting move for a company that makes one of the biggest antispyware utilities (Microsoft AntiSpyware). Now it has emerged that Microsoft "downgraded" its Claria recommendation in AntiSpyware in March from "Quarentine" to "Ignore" -- essentially changing Claria adware from a threat to something that's OK. UPDATE: Microsoft later responded to criticism over its change of Claria's status in MS AntiSpyware in an open letter to customers.

    Go here for live links and graphic:
    http://www.mikeslist.com/2005/07/microsoft...a-formerly.html<hr>

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    5,016
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: MS Antispy downgrades Claria (Gator) spyware

    Apparently there are various other spywares that MS chooses to treat with the "softly, softly" approach too:
    <A target="_blank" HREF="http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/07/08/ms-antispyware-ignores-more-adware/">MS AntiSpyware

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Bay Area, California, USA
    Posts
    968
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Re: MS Antispy downgrades Claria (Gator) spyware

    In a $$ driven, commercial economy, it seems that the old adage about everyone can be brought is true. One wonders if there are any commercial businesses not corrupted by greed?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: MS Antispy downgrades Claria (Gator) spyware

    I think it's a bit unfair to overlook the cost of legal challenges. For example, HotBar actually sued Lavasoft before the company changed Ad-Aware. For products that require constant updates, and therefore a lot of staff, the additional cost of fighting these profitable adware companies in court may make the venture unprofitable.

    From the overall perspective of its balance sheet and bank accounts, Microsoft could afford to fight, but the division that makes AntiSpyware might not have the authority or internal pull to incur those risks, especially if the product will continue to be free. Maybe it will be free, supported by pop-up ads? <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: MS Antispy downgrades Claria (Gator) spyware

    One other thought -- there seem to be two different views of the spyware/adware/etc. situation:
    1. <LI>Pure Contractual Perspective: if the user accepted the terms of an agreement (e.g., clicking a button somewhere in the download/install process) then the software is legitimate and cannot be called junkware/grayware/etc. The pending legislation in Congress seems to focus on this issue of consent. Now, of course, software that uses "drive-by" install techniques, or lurks in a bundle, cannot claim the protection of user acceptance, but most blatant adware does go through the motions of obtaining user consent. I'm sure WhenU makes a big point of this.

      <LI>Consumer Autonomy Perspective: users never relinquish control of their computers, and are entitled to obtain an independent opinion on what they have installed, and to uninstall it, at any time. They may have to uninstall bundled software, too, if those are the terms under which they were given the right to use the bundled software, but adware vendors should not be able to "gag" third parties who wish to provide information or tools to users which allow them to control what is on their PCs. These third parties may be held to some standard of accuracy in their descriptions, but the fact that users might have given their consent at some point in the past does not justify shutting them up completely.
    I have not read Microsoft's detailed comments on why it changed its recommendation for how to handle Claria software. Why is Microsoft even in the business of giving recommendations? It seems the user should look at the facts behind the recommendation -- risk level, particular behaviors -- and make her own decision as to whether the supposed benefits of the software outweigh its disadvantages. As long as the anti-spyware product (1) detects and reports grayware, (2) provides information/links so the user can make an intelligent decision, and (3) removes the grayware upon request, then I can't get too excited about what the AS vendor "recommends." I suppose the counterpoint to that is many users will accept the default, thinking that Microsoft knows best. Perhaps MS is in a position of unique responsibility and needs to be particularly careful in this area. At least I'd bet their legal department thinks so!

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    5,016
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: MS Antispy downgrades Claria (Gator) spyware

    I'm not at all legal eagle, but my proposal would be to put forward a bill in Congress that says something like:

    If a user has no clue as to what they're doing by installing XXXware, then they're entitled to also have no clue in using YYYware to uninstall the former. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    More seriously, I'd like to see a real example of this multi-million dollar industry at work. All we hear about is how whateverware reports on surfing habits, or redirects us to sponsored sights or whatever. I'd like to see an actual audit trail of where all of this collected data actually goes, and what moneys are exchanged. I'm probably wrong, but I get the impression the whole show is something akin to a hyped .COM boon.

    Alan

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,592
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: MS Antispy downgrades Claria (Gator) spyware

    FWIW, see the post entitled Microsoft and Gator - a Match Made in Marketing Heaven at Woody's no-bull news/tips/help for Windows, Office, and - Microsoft Internet Explorer .

    Joe
    Joe

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •