Zango sues antispyware vendor PC Tools

Zango has sued antispyware vendor PC Tools in a dispute over the way Zango's technology is rated.

Adware maker Zango has sued Australian firm PC Tools, makers of the popular Spyware Doctor software, in a dispute over the way the antispyware program flags and removes Zango's technology.

Representatives from both Zango and PC Tools confirmed that Zango had filed suit against the antispyware vendor. However they declined to provide details on the lawsuit except to say that it involved a dispute over the way Spyware Doctor rated Zango's software.

"We believe the proceedings are an attempt by Zango to influence our reclassification process," PC Tools said in a statement e-mailed to IDG late Thursday. "Prior to the lawsuit we were well into an in-depth review and reclassification of the latest versions of Zango products," PC Tools said. "We advised Zango of this imminent re-rating and we believe they have chosen to lodge these proceedings as a way to gain media attention of the review."

The Spyware Doctor Starter Edition that ships with Google Pack assigns Zango an "elevated" threat-level rating.

According to a posting on a blog called Spamnotes.com, Zango is seeking at least US$35 million in damages, alleging that Spyware Doctor removes Zango's software without warning users that it will be deleted. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court in Seattle, according to Spamnotes.com.

Formerly known as 180solutions, Zango is trying to clean up its tarnished reputation. In November it paid US$3 million to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges that its software was being installed deceptively on PCs.

PC users have complained that the software has been installed without warning, forcing them to endure unwanted pop-up ads. The company has also been accused of tracking user behavior and making its software too difficult to remove.

Zango now bills itself as an online media company whose products are critical to the Internet.

Critics are not so sure.

"Zango has exhibited numerous bad behaviors over the past few years," said long-time Zango critic Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School. "I'd be interested to learn what specific descriptions Zango believes were false; in my view, most negative assessments of Zango have strong basis in fact."

After testing Spyware Doctor, Sunbelt Software Director of Malware Research Eric Howes said that Spyware Doctor clearly notified users before attempting to remove it. "It's similar to the way all antispyware and antimalware works," he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?