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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?