Online advertising scheme draws fire

In an effort to prevent a new type of advertising scheme that exploits a loophole in Microsoft Windows, US regulators said they are aggressively clamping down “pop-up” ads.

    The FTC is going after 'pop-up' advertisments on the web

    The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that it had obtained a court order barring one company's use of the Windows Messenger system to barrage consumers with pop-up advertising.

    Microsoft designed the Messenger Service for system administrators to notify users about the network, but acknowledged that some advertisers have found a way to use the service to send advertising messages and possibly viruses.

    It advises consumers not using the system to deactivate it.

    The FTC action targeted D Squared, claiming the company "engaged in an unfair practice by interfering with consumers' use of their computers, specifically by causing a stream of multiple, unwanted Windows Messenger Service pop-ups to appear on their computer screens."

    "The defendants created the problem that they proposed to solve - for a fee. Their pop-up spam wasted computer users time and caused them needless frustration"

    Howard Beales,
    FTC consumer protection chief

    Ironically, the messages instructed consumers to visit sites that suggest that the barrage of pop-ups could be stopped by purchasing software at a cost of $25 to 30, the FTC said.

    "This is nothing more than a high-tech version of a classic scam," said Howard Beales, the FTC's consumer protection chief.

    "The defendants created the problem that they proposed to solve - for a fee. Their pop-up spam wasted computer users time and caused them needless frustration."

    The FTC said the company also sold or licensed their pop-up-sending software to other people, allowing them to engage in the same conduct, and sold a database of more than two billion addresses of computer users.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.