The Legal Status of Spyware
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Overview: Even though large-scale breaches grab the headlines, many victims of identity theft frequently cause the offending disclosure by unwittingly downloading software from the World Wide Web (""Web"") or responding to email ""Phishing"" and other online and offline scams. Although courts find a right to privacy in the United States Constitution, that right generally only protects citizens from invasions by the government, not by corporate America. Federal law enables spyware, adware, and phishing businesses to mine consumer data with impunity. This research paper demonstrates that although some laws are ineffective, others provide consumers with some minimal relief.