Ahh, the irony…
I have this sitting on my browser for a couple of days now, but only just got to actually reading it. Apparently, Adware makers are suing ZoneLabs.
The case in hand? Zone Labs, creators of ZoneAlarm, the popular firewall software, warn desktop users that products of one 180solutions present a “potential threat to the user’s security and/or privacy”. 180solutions claim this isn’t correct and that ZoneLabs caused many users to uninstall their products.
To the uninitiated, what the products (called Zango and 180search Assistant) do is log keyboard clicks, and use that to launch pop-up ads that are supposedly directed to the user’s taste, based on his browsing habits, which are deducted from the URL he visit via the keyboard logging. Dunno. Sounds like it does pose a “potential threat to the user’s security and/or privacy”. They log my every keystroke, then upload those to 180solution’s servers, which then send to my computer ads that pop-up voluntarily on my browser. I belive this is the exact reason why the customers of ZoneLabs buy their product.
It’s the same thing with the pop-up blockers, and the ad-removers (i.e. Firefox’s Adblock). I read an article claiming those are braking the “social contract” between sites and site’s visitors. Meaning “We give you our site’s content for free, and you have to view our ads”. While this contract’s validity is a whole different debate, there’s a huge gap between this concept and the concept that “you read our site, we give you flashy ads that will hijack your CPU and ram and bandwith, or flood you with pop-up blockers”. I never signed to that. Before pop-up blockers arrived, I would simply not visit the sites that would bombard me with those wretched things. I think any site would accept the tradeoff of either having visitors with pop-up blockers than having no visitors at all. And I don’t see anyone wanting to block Google’s Adwords.