In January 2005, McAfee issued a report on the top threats for 2004 and inadvertently labeled Gator software as a malicious threat. Since Claria’s GAIN ad-supported software provides high consumer value and requires user permission and consent, these applications clearly do not pose any malicious threat. McAfee addressed their error in a release issued today by the McAfee AVERT team. Claria has also requested that McAfee adjust their criteria to not penalize ad-supported software that is “popular” and has “scale” — factors that appear to contribute to ad-supported software being included into McAfee’s category of Potentially Unwanted Programs.
Claria, makers of free ad-supported software, stated Monday that McAfee has changed its tune on the company’s products, no longer calling them a “malicious threat.” This is possibly the first step for Claria to build a more positive image to their brand, which took a big hit when it was known as Gator a few years back.
What is McAfee thinking? Here’s some background info on Claria:
Claria, which used to be called Gator, is one of the most notorious publishers of adware (got to be careful there, the company has apparently taken to suing anyone who calls its code spyware). Gator has long been one of the poster bad boys of the adware world.
The reason it is still in the game? Adware pays. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, Claria filed for an IPO to raise $150 million to continue developing what the company is pleased to call a behavioral marketing platform.
In a stunning example of lobby influence over voters interests, the Department of Homelad Security has appointed the “Privacy Officer” of Claria Networks (formerly known as Gator Networks) to the Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.
And here’s a pdf article on spyware:
Affiliates are finding that spyware is stealing their cookies, their customers and their commissions.
If the politicians and the virus companies want to start legitimizing this stuff, an affiliate has only one choice: start putting the heat on merchants and look at boycotting those who allow parasites into their programs. And it’s also another wakeup call to find something other than cookies to track sales.
Or time to get real aggressive and drum up other methods of generating income online that doesn’t involve dealing with this crap.