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Cingular settles adware advertising dispute for $35,000

Cingular Wireless L.L.C. is one of three companies that has settled disputes surrounding online advertising practices in the state of New York. The wireless carrier agreed to pay $35,000 under terms of the settlement, according to media reports.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Cingular, along with Priceline.com Inc. and Travelocity.com L.P., reached settlements with the state for promoting products and services on the Internet through programs installed on users’ computers called adware. Cuomo said the settlements mark the first time advertisers have been held responsible for ads displayed through adware.
Adware programs can deliver advertisements as well as monitor Web site usage and collect other data on users. The programs sometimes are difficult to remove.
The settlements are the result from an investigation of DirectRevenue L.L.C. by the Internet Bureau and a related lawsuit filed in April 2006. Cingular, Travelocity and Priceline used Direct Revenue software to deliver their ads, according to the settlements.
The agreements require the advertisers to follow certain guidelines for future online advertising, including providing full disclosure of adware programs used.

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