Standardization in Spyware Identification and Testing

A group of leading security software vendors (McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, ICSA Labs, and Thompson Cyber Security Labs) have announced an industry initiative to establish standards for identifying spyware and testing methodologies. Testing against common evaluation criteria is expected by such vendors to help them combate competition from other vendors whose products they claim are not as effective at detecting and removing spyware.

There is currently some debate about what constitutes spyware as some vendors of “adware” and employee-monitoring software have raised objections about having their products classified as spyware and being removed by anti-spyware systems.