Adware Firm Admits Error, Apologizes - InformationWeek

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2/27/2006
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Adware Firm Admits Error, Apologizes

180solutions, the controversial adware marketer, admitted last week that it has found a pair of sites adding its Zango software to PCs without users' consent.

Edelman took exception to Smith's description of 180's software. "I agree [that no software is hack-proof," said Edelman. But 180 has previously made public statements indicating that its software is not susceptible to those who want to install without consent. Recall 180's S3 whitepaper, explicitly stating '[I]nstallation cannot continue until the user gives consent' and 'Publishers are unable to turn [the consent screen] off.

"180 promised that installation 'cannot' proceed without consent. But now 180 tries to back peddle and to weaken its unambiguous statement. The better approach would be to admit that 180's prior promises went too far, and that 180's software cannot actually deliver the benefits 180 previously described."

Smith, in turn took a shot at Edelman, claiming that "thousands of unsuspecting consumers received our software without the opportunity to properly consent to its installation."

That's just what Edelman, and other anti-spyware critics, have long accused 180 of doing. Late last month, for instance, the CDT petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to shut down 180solutions.

"180solutisons said they've cleaned up," said Ari Schwartz, the deputy director of the CDT, then. "But CDT finds this to be deceptive. We want to give fair notice to companies thinking about advertising with 180solutions that they keep this in mind."

That's exactly what seems to have happened. Monday, Azoogle, one of the largest third-party online ad networks, said that it would terminate its relationship with 180solutions as of Friday, March 3, and would no longer place ads through 180's downloaded software.

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