Spyware Law and Legal Definition

Spyware are programs that gather information about user’s Web surfing habits and sends this information to a third party, usually without user’s permission or knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Spyware can change system settings, install keystroke loggers, collect and report your personal information, use computer processing capacity without permission, and deliver spam or ads without user’s notice and consent. Spyware can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting Web browser activity. Due to the emergence of spyware, many jurisdictions have passed anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is surreptitiously installed to control a user's computer.