The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t like when businesses use certain types of adware. The FTC has the authority to take legal action against companies that engage in unfair or deceptive marketing.
Major Adware Legality Case: FTC v. Advertising.com
Advertising.com offered consumers free software, but bundled it with adware that generated popup advertisements. The FTC went after the company for failing to adequately inform users of the true terms.
Some States, Like Alaska, Have A Specific Adware Legality Law
Some states have specific adware legality rules. In Alaska, for example, § 45.45.792 of the Alaska Statutes specifically declares:
“It is unlawful for a person who is not the owner or authorized user of a computer to engage in deceptive acts or practices described in this subsection using spyware.”
BOTTOM LINE: If You Make A Pop-Up Look Like It Was Served Up By Another Business, And Said Pop-Up Is Tracking or Collecting User Data, The FTC Will Probably Come After You.
Distributing adware can be done legally, as long as you takes steps to ensure you’re not breaking any FTC unfair and deceptive marketing rules. For more information on adware legality, get in touch with Internet law attorney, Aaron Kelly.