Bad Practices Continue at Zango
Earlier this month, the FTC announced the proposed settlement of its investigation into Zango, makers of advertising software widely installed onto users' computers without their consent or without their informed consent (among other bad practices). We commend the proposed settlement's core terms. But despite these strong provisions, bad practices continue at Zango, practices that, in our judgment, put Zango in violation of the key terms and requirements of the FTC settlement.
...Unfortunately, many of Zango's installations fail to include these disclosures with the required prominence. Zango admits that it shows "advertisements," but Zango fails to disclose that its ads appear in pop-ups. Zango's use of the word "advertisements," with nothing more, suggests that Zango's ads appear in standard advertising formats -- formats users are more inclined to tolerate, like ordinary banner ads within web pages (e.g. the ads at nytimes.com) or within other software programs (e.g. the ads in MSN Messenger). In fact Zango's pop-up ads are quite different, in that they appear in pop-ups known to be particularly annoying and intrusive. But the word "advertisements" does nothing to alert users to this crucial fact. Bad Practices Continue at Zango, Notwithstanding Proposed FTC Settlement and Zango's Claims
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