FTC Holds Spyware Hearings Today

The Federal Trade Commission convenes a public workshop about spyware today, as Congress mulls anti-spyware legislation.

The one-day symposium, held at the FTC's conference center in Washington, DC, explores issues involving software loaded onto computers without user consent that send data back to third parties. It seeks to define spyware and how it differs from adware, which is software used to serve ads based on user Internet behavior. The meeting includes privacy experts, consumer groups and executives from Google, Microsoft and AOL.

Utah enacts an anti-spyware law May 3 that adware makers WhenU.com and Claria say will prevent them from deploying ad-supported software to the state's residents. WhenU has filed a lawsuit in Utah court claiming the law is unconstitutional.

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