The new Anti Spyware Coalition (ASC) industry group its first task to define what spyware exactly is, and what it is not. The group was formed by industry leaders such as HP, Microsoft, Yahoo, McAfee, Trend Micro and others. They first came up with a set of definitions that will form the basis of its activities:
In its draft guidelines it has defined spyware as technologies that 'impair users' control over material changes that affect their user experience, privacy, or system security; use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; or collection, use, and distribution of their personal or otherwise sensitive information'.
It has also come up with definitions for such nasties as 'adware,' 'port scanner,' and 'screen scraper'.
The public will be able to give feedback to the definitions, although everything needs to be in by August 12. More details at PC Pro