CNet's Download.com has been secretly installing adware alongside the free and open source software in its archive, in violation of its own stated policies, which claim "zero tolerance" for adware. EFF has some harsh words and stern advice for the company to make this right.
So, CNET, here's what you need to do to really make it right:
Stop bundling adware into your installer. Failing that,
1. Rewrite your adware policy to admit that Download.com no longer has a “zero tolerance” policy for bundled adware, and make the change public, so users and developers know about it.
2. If you are going to allow ads, make sure they are not deceptive. This means it should be very clear that the ad is entirely separate from the install process (and no “accept” buttons where “next step” should be), and that the developer of the software the user actually wants has nothing to do with the advertised app.
3. Clean up the mess: prominently offer, on the front page of the Download.com site and as part of the ads themselves, to assist users with uninstalling any advertised software they may have unknowingly installed.
4. Right now, many users won’t know they can download the software without the adware. Direct download should be the default process, and users who choose to use the Download.com installer should know, before they do, that the process will include advertising or other software they might not want.
5. Until the “opt-in” procedure is well-established, cease bundling adware for commercial as well as open source applications.
The Download.com Debacle: What CNET Needs to Do to Make it Right
Last week’s John Oliver segment on Robert E. Murray, CEO of the coal mining Murray Energy Corporation, noted that Murray had a history of litigation against his critics in the news media, including the New York Times, and predicted that Murray would go on to sue Oliver (Murray’s lawyers had sent Oliver a letter warning […]
In this security footage from a bank in Chapalita, Mexico, three masked men approach the doors with the clear intent to rob the place. A fleet-footed member of staff locks the glass doors. The masked men stand on the other side a little while, looking in at him. Then they walk off.
SXSW has made good on its promises to walk the talk on supporting immigration rights, coming out in support of the city of Austin’s lawsuit against the state of Texas over SB-4, the Texas law that bans “sanctuary cities” where law enforcement officers do not check or take action on arrestees’ immigration status unless it […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]