For immediate release:
June 27, 2006
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Anti-Spyware Coalition Releases Updated Definitions, Risk-Modeling Data
WASHINGTON -- The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) today released updates of two major documents -- the seminal spyware "definitions" and the "risk-model description" -- as part of an ongoing effort to ensure that the tools available in the fight against spyware keep pace with evolving technology.
The definitions and risk modeling description were the first two major documents released by the ASC, a coalition made up of leading anti-spyware companies, public interest advocates and academics working to combat the unwanted software flooding computers worldwide. As is the case with all ASC publications, the definitions and risk modeling description are living documents, designed to grow and change in response to technological developments.
The definitions have been updated to include a description of "personally identifiable information" and to reflect the breadth of technologies that can come under the heading of "spyware." The risk-modeling description has been updated to identify new risk factors that anti-spyware companies may use in categorizing unwanted software, and to re-categorize other risks more accurately.
"Spyware threats are constantly mutating and evolving. Malicious distributors are endlessly searching for new ways to attack innocent computer users," said Ari Schwartz, Deputy Director of the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), which coordinates the ASC. "The Anti-Spyware Coalition can't afford to sit still in our fight against spyware. We will continue to update and improve these working reports even as we develop new standards.
First issued in July 2005, the ASC spyware definitions (http://www.antispywarecoalition.org/documents/definitions.htm) represented the first cohesive effort on the part of anti-spyware companies, consumer advocates and academics to empirically define the term "spyware" and other associated terms. The resulting document focused the global conversation about spyware by helping anti-spyware advocates to speak in the same language about the problem.
Using the definitions as a cornerstone, the ASC in October 2005, released the first draft of the risk modeling description (http://www.antispywarecoalition.org/documents/RiskModelDescription.htm), which details the objective criteria anti-spyware developers use to determine whether a specific piece of software should be identified as spyware.
About the Anti-Spyware Coalition: The ASC is a group dedicated to building a consensus about definitions and best practices in the debate surrounding spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies. Composed of anti-spyware software companies, academics, and consumer groups, the ASC seeks to bring together a diverse array of perspective on the problem of controlling spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies.