Ben Edelman Examines '180solutions' Newest Tactics

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180's Newest Installation Practices

80's Newest Installation Practices

Ben Edelman

January 9, 2006

I've previously covered a variety of misleading and/or nonconsensual installations by 180solutions. I've recorded numerous installations through exploits - without any user consent at all. I've found installations in poorly-disclosed bundles -- for example, disclosing 180's inclusion, but only if users happen to scroll to page 16 of a 54-page license. I've even documented deceptive installations at kids sites, where 180 installs without showing or mentioning a license agreement.

180 has cleaned up some of these practices, but the core deception remains. 180 still installs its software in circumstances where reasonable users wouldn't expect to receive such software -- including web sites that substantially cater to kids. And users still aren't fairly told what they're slated to receive. 180 says that it shows "advertising," but no on-screen text warns users that these ads appear in much-hated pop-ups.

180 systematically downplays the privacy consequences of installing its software -- prominently telling users what the software won't do, but failing to disclose what the software does track and transmit. All told, users may have to press a button before 180 installs on their computer, but users can't reasonably be claimed to understand what they're purportedly accepting.

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