FTC To Host Spyware Workshop

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For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop, “Monitoring Software on Your PC: Spyware, Adware, and Other Software,” on April 19, 2004, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The workshop will explore issues associated with the distribution and effects of software that is loaded on personal computers without users’ consent and that gathers and sends information about users to third parties or that adversely affects the computers’ functioning. A Federal Register Notice describing the workshop in more detail will be published shortly. The workshop, which will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., will be open to the public.

The workshop generally will focus on four areas:

  • Defining and Understanding Spyware, including a discussion of how spyware may differ from adware;
  • Distribution of Spyware, including the role that peer-to-peer file-sharing may
  • The Effects of Spyware, including the extent to which spyware affects the functioning of personal computers and raises privacy or security concerns; and
  • Possible Responses to Spyware Concerns, including a discussion of what consumers, government, and industry have been doing and intend to do, by themselves or together, to address the harms associated with spyware.

Interested parties can submit written comments, including studies, surveys, research, and empirical data to Federal Trade Commission - Office of the Secretary, Room 159-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments and envelopes should be marked “Spyware Workshop - Comment, P044509". Interested parties also are encouraged to submit written comments to the following e-mail box: spywareworkshop2004@ftc.gov. Persons seeking to participate as panelists in the workshop must notify the FTC in writing of their interest in participating and describe their expertise in or knowledge of the issues. Panelists will be selected based on whether they have expertise or knowledge; whether their participation would promote a balance of interests being represented at the workshop; and whether they represent a group that shares a viewpoint.

A detailed agenda and additional information on the workshop will be posted on the FTC’s Web site at www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/spyware/index.htm.

Copies of the Federal Register notice are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1 877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Claudia Bourne Farrell,
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Elizabeth Delaney,
Bureau of Consumer Protection