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Recommendations released for antispyware firms

The Anti-Spyware Coalition offers "Best Practices" and "Conflict Indentification" guidelines for antispyware manufacturers.

The Anti-Spyware Coalition has released two documents designed to help empower manufacturers of antispyware with new knowledge and tactics.

The first of the two documents released Thursday, "Best Practices," is a set of recommended techniques based on the ASC's definition and classification of "spyware" and providing a precise description of how an antispyware company can analyze a piece of software and determine whether it might be harmful or invasive. Additionally, "Best Practices" details company practices that can provide legitimate value to customers concerned about spyware risks.

The second document, "Conflict Identification and Resolution Process," is geared toward antispyware companies' dealings with other antispyware companies in the event that there's a software conflict between two manufacturers' products. The ASC says it hopes the document's recommended steps for resolving such a situation will smooth interactions between companies and provide more transparency for clients that may be affected.

While the ASC, which was founded in 2005, says that the process of completing "Best Practices" and "Conflict Identification" took more than a year, the documents are far from finished. They are now available online on the Anti-Spyware Coalition's Web site, where readers are encouraged to contribute their comments and feedback for the next month. Even when the public comment period is over, the ASC says, the recommendations will continue on as "living documents that evolve with the rapidly changing software environment."