CNet reports that America Online’s Advertising.com subsidiary has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that the company had distributed an anti-spyware program that actually contained adware bundled with it, and that the company had failed to adequately notify consumers about the hypocrisy.
According to the report:
Advertising.com, also known as Teknosurf.com, promoted its SpyBlast program as a way to protect users’ computers from “hackers,” the FTC charged. But those who downloaded the product also installed a separate program that monitored their online behavior and served them pop-up ads.
As is usually the case with these sorts of settlements, the company admitted no wrongdoing, but promised not to do it again. The company will also submit to FTC oversight of its behavior, which could subject them to substantial fines if the company is caught engaging in deceptive or unfair practices in future.