Dyson: Advertisers to Blame for Spyware Problem

Esther_Dyson.jpgWhen researching my piece on Ben Edelman’s recent paper taking TRUSTe to task, I requested an interview with Esther Dyson, who was involved with TRUSTe’s creation. Though we failed to connect in time for the story, we were able to chat this morning.

Though acknowledging that TRUSTe is more “establishment” than the likes of other privacy crusaders like Edelman, Dyson had nothing but good things to say about the organization. “It’s not a profit making organization….They’re not perfect, but nobody is, and they’re definitely a force for good.”

Dyson was not shy about who she thinks is to blame for spyware-related privacy infringement: advertisers. “The key to all of this is where the money comes from, and it comes from the advertisers,” she said.

I wondered, though, don’t advertisers see some benefit from distributing their ads via adware and spyware? They wouldn’t use these outlets if they didn’t, right?

Dyson agreed, noting, “It’s incumbent on many of us to make [advertisers] see some negative results.”

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