January 26, 2006 (HOSTSEARCH) The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a nonprofit technology group, has complained to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US about the distribution tactics of 180solutions, a pop up advertisements distributor. The group has also filed a separate complaint about web hosting provider CJB.net, a 180solutions affiliate.
The basis of the CDTs complaint against 180solutions is that the company uses a range of dubious tactic to distribute advertising software which collects data on users Internet usage and delivers pop up advertising based on that data. These tactics include exploiting security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and engaging third-party affiliates that surreptitiously distribute software to unsuspecting users.
David McGuire, a spokesman for the CDT, suggested, "There is a core flaw in their (180solutions) business practices that causes them to continue to engage in these deceptive relations with affiliates and put unwanted software on peoples computers."
According to the CDT, 180solutions software has harmed unsuspecting users computers, slowing them down, and making them difficult to use. This in turn has made people distrust the Internet itself as a medium.
CDT suggests it had been in discussion with 180solutions about their distribution practices for a number of years without resolution. Despite distributing press releases stating they had changed how it placed its advertisements and how it managed affiliates, the CDT claims 180solutions practices continue.
The CDTs complaint against web hosting provider CJB.net claims the company "dupes people into installing 180solutions software" by offering free hosting without informing users that their web site would download 180solutions software onto their computers.
This is the strongest action taken against an alleged adware distributor since the FTC closed three adware companies in November 2005. HostSearch will bring you more news on this issue as it emerges.