Companies could find themselves put up for public humiliation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission if they continue to advertise through insidious ad-serving software.
Such a move might help in the battle against adware, FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz said Thursday at an event here hosted by the Anti-Spyware Coalition. Adware is software that displays pop-up ads on PCs, often after Internet searches.
Anti-spyware software is a requirement just like Anti-virus software. Common vulnerabilities in browsers make it very easy for malicious software to infect your machine through Internet Explorer for example.
“I think that could have a beneficial effect,” Leibowitz said in an interview. “In this context, maybe shaming a company on how they are spending money might inure to the benefit of consumer’s privacy.”
Viruses, spyware, trojans and adware are big problems now with solutions for all of them (firewalls and intrusion detection help massively of course).
The FTC would publicly announce and publish the name of a company that advertises using adware that installs itself surreptitiously on consumer PCs or using spyware, Leibowitz said. He would recommend publicly shaming advertisers to the other FTC commissioners if the adware problem doesn’t decrease, he said.