Sony BMG Settles With FTC Over Rootkit Fiasco
Sony BMG has settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over their rootkit-based anti-piracy scheme which backfired when it did not properly notify users that when they put the CDs into their computer it would install “spyware.” The non-authorized software not only allowed hackers easy access to their computers, but also sent their personal data to Sony’s servers.
The FTC won a number of concessions from the major label, although Sony BMG did not admit any wrongdoing. They didn’t do anything wrong, but they did agree to exchange CDs containing the spyware for CDs that didn’t have the rookit system. Sony BMG also agreed to compensate consumers for damages of up to $150, and refrain from using any consumer data obtained from the spyware. Additionally, the company agreed to clearly inform consumers of any future software protections or data-gathering initiatives. “We’re pleased to have reached this agreement with the FTC,” Sony BMG stated in a press release.
The Future: This is just a slap on the wrist to Sony BMG, and the FTC should have taken the label out back and beat them with a stick. The exectutive who “green lighted” this idiotic technology should also be tar and feathered. The biggest problem for the industry is that because of Sony’s stupidity, the industry will be very, very nervous about incorporating any type of CD-based, anti-piracy protections in the future.