According to the report, the FTC staff also has concluded that the problems caused by spyware can be reduced if the private sector and the government take action. The report suggests that technological solutions - firewalls, anti-spyware software, and improved browsers and operating systems - can provide significant protection to consumers from the risks related to spyware. The report recommends that industry identify what constitutes spyware and how information about spyware should be disclosed to consumers; expand efforts to educate consumers about spyware risks; and assist law enforcement. The report further recommends that the government increase criminal and civil prosecution under existing laws of those who distribute spyware and increase efforts to educate consumers about the risks of spyware.
“The FTC workshop provided valuable insight into the nature of spyware, the problems it causes, and potential solutions for those problems. Addressing the problems associated with spyware will require a coordinated and sustained effort by the private sector and government officials,” the report states.
Copies of the report 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.