An US-based online advertising company, Zango, was fined $3 million for downloading its software onto people’s computer without their consent. Zango, which is one of the world’s largest distributors of adware, have agreed to settle the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges on using unfair and deceptive methods to download adware onto people’s computers without their knowledge and for preventing them from removing the installed adware. According to FTC, the company installed its adware more than 70 million times, causing 6.9 billion pop-up ads.

As per the settlement, the company will not install its adware without the consent of the users, in future and it will provide a solution to the PC users for removing the already installed adware from their computers. The settlement also requires the company to pay $3 million to the US government, as a fine for their unethical act.

Keith Smith, CEO of Zango, said that he deeply regretted for any negative impact caused by their business. He added that the company’s business model relied heavily on affiliates to enforce their customer notice and consent policies, paving way for deceptive third parties to exploit their system, with dire consequences on the consumers, advertisers and publishing partners. In a statement issued by the company, the management blamed third-party affiliates for the problems and said that the company was working in accordance with the FTC standards, since January 2006.

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