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2 ISJLP 283 (2005-2006)
Symposium: Cybersecurity Policy - Book Review

handle is hein.journals/isjlpsoc2 and id is 315 raw text is: User Choices and Regret: Understanding Users'
Decision Process about Consensually Acquired
Spyware is software which monitors user actions, gathers personal
data, and/or displays advertisements to users.  While some
spyware is installed surreptitiously, a surprising amount is
installed on users' computers with their active participation. In
some cases, users agree to accept spyware as part of a software
bundle as a cost associated with gaining functionality they desire.
In many other cases, however, users are unaware that they
installed spyware, or of the consequences of that installation. This
lack of awareness occurs even when the functioning of the spyware
is explicitly declared in the end user license agreement (EULA).
We argue and demonstrate that poor interface design contributes
to the difficulty end users experience when trying to manage their
computing environment. This paper reviews the legal, technical,
and design issues related to the installation of spyware bundled
with other software. It reports on results of an experiment in
which thirty-one users were asked to configure computers,
deciding which software to install from a set of software that
included disclosed spyware. The results suggest that current
EULA interfaces do little to encourage informed decision-making
and that simpler interfaces with key terms highlighted have
potential to improve informed decision-making.
Over the past several years spyware has emerged as a significant
new threat to Internet-connected computers. We use the term
spyware to    describe   a  class of software     that resides on     an
individual's computer, using the resources of that computer to monitor
the user's actions, display advertisements to the user, and/or engage in
other activities commonly perceived by users as invasive or
* Nathaniel Good, Jens Gossklags, and David Thaw are all at the School of Information
Science at the University of California - Berkley. Aaron Perzanowski and Deidre Mulligan
are at the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, Boalt School of Law,
University of California - Berkley and Joseph Konstan is in the Department of Computer
Science at the University of Minnesota.

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