AP Story on Defining Spyware/Adware

As a follow-up to yesterday’s story on advertiser liability for adware, today the AP runs a story about the definitional ambiguities of the words “spyware” and “adware,” and the problems those ambiguities create. I think this quote sums it up best:

“`Spyware’ has sort of become the euphemism for any software I don’t want,” said Wayne Porter, co-founder of SpywareGuide.com.

The result is chaos.

As the article points out, the characterization has important consequences for consumer behavior. The story gives some illustrations of how spyware/adware label is just another type of ambiguous metadata that can lead to mistakes in judgment.

There’s plenty of other good tidbits in this article. Recommended reading.