Is spyware, which is a type of advertising on the internet could be illegal?

Essay by UifzHigh School, 11th gradeA, January 2004

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Spyware known as Advertising Supported software (Adware) is a way for the authors of an online downloadable product to make money without selling it to their users. Many large media companies offer them to place banner ads in their products in exchange for a portion of the revenue from their banner sales. So the user doesn't have to pay for the software and the developers are still getting paid.

In this case, U-Haul is suing WhenU because the company is complaining that they are losing thousands of visitors with all the pop-up ad's that are not from their own web site, people complain that they are annoying and frustrating that they have to click 'cancel' every time they visit a hyperlink on U-Haul's website. WhenU's website provides free downloads via the internet, in exchange for the free downloads, WhenU installs these spyware files in the program the user is downloading, creating advertisements when a certain user visits a particular website.

That is how WhenU makes a profit. The spyware software attracts keywords that the user is searching. Example; the user types a baseball site, then an ad not from the baseball site they are currently viewing, pops up relating to baseball, selling hats, gloves and bats. Not only does it hurt the owner's web site (people thinking its ads from the site their visiting when it's actually the software they've installed) but it also hurt's the user's computer. This spyware software takes up a lot of space and memory in the user's computer. Making it slow and freeze at times. Many user's are currently using free programs that eliminate spyware such as Spybot Search and Destroy and Adware 5.0 and 6.0. These programs searches for any spyware related content and automatically deletes them making your computer faster, reliable and...