Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
The fight against invasive software will take a step forward this week as the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and the Google-backed Stopbadware Coalition will release two separate reports that state the names of undesirable software programs and the advertisers who help fund them.
On Monday, the CDT will publish its report on the major advertisers who are behind so-called "adware" software, which is "increasingly clogging users' computers," according to a statement from the digital public policy organization.
"This report untangles the adware funding model and identifies several of the mainstream companies that help fuel the growing Internet scourge," the CDT said.
Two days later, the Stopbadware Coalition is set to release its first report, which will name several software programs to its Badware Watch List, which it is billing as a community generated list of unwanted software.
How Advertising Dollars Encourage Nuisance and Harmful Adware
and What Can be Done to Reverse the Trend
A Report by the Center for Democracy and Technology
Unwanted advertising software or "adware" has evolved from an annoyance into a serious threat to the future of Internet communication. Every day, thousands of Internet users are duped into downloading adware programs they neither want nor need. Once installed, the programs bog down computersâ€™ normal functions, deluging users with popup advertisements, creating privacy and security risks, and generally diminishing the quality of the online experience. Some users simply give up on the Internet altogether after their computers are rendered useless by the installation of dozens of unwanted programs.
CDT Adware Report (PDF)
One of the most troubling aspects of this phenomenon is that the companies fueling it are some of the largest, best-known companies in the world. In the following pages, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) details how advertising dollars from major, legitimate companies are fueling the spread of nuisance and harmful adware1 and how those companies can help to combat the online scourge by adopting and enforcing good advertising placement policies.