Schwarzenegger Signs Anti-Spyware Bill Into Law
Sep 29, 2004, 12:00 AM
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed The Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act into law yesterday, aiming to protect consumers from spyware, or ad-supported, behavior-tracking software that is surreptitiously downloaded onto users' computers. The new law makes it illegal to deceptively install software on someone else's computer that modifies settings or extracts personally identifiable information through tracking or keystroke logging. Also, software that cannot be uninstalled or disabled clearly, or that blocks or disables security software programs, is now illegal in California. Victims of these crimes can now seek damages of $1,000 per incident and any applicable attorney's fees. Separately, SPYBLOCK, a federal bill, is currently being reviewed in the Senate. SPYBLOCK would supersede state legislation.