Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Pop-ups--A violation of rights?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Pop-ups, everyone gets them or at least alot of us do. I don't know much about the technicalities of it so correct me if I'm wrong. Programs can be downloaded onto my computer from outside when I go to a site without my consent and these programs can lay inside my hard drive and send 'pop-ups'. Would that be an act violating privacy and property rights?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a technical note, the great majority of pop-ups are ads display by particular websites and should not be confused with worms. The great majority of “worms” come with ad-ware that you knowingly download – at least if you read license agreements and security warnings. There are very few “worms” that actually install themselves without your permission (usually spread by email), and they rarely show ads. Their most common use is to send spam.

So, while running software on your computer without your permission is certainly a violation of your property rights (I don’t think there is any “right to privacy”), chances are that you consented to 99.99% of the pop-ups that you see on your pc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are 3 distinct cases:

1) I, as a web developer, decide to include an advertisement, as a banner or pop-up, in my site's content. When you decide to visit my site and access my content, you also access these advertisements.

This method is used by many webmasters to fund their sites through banner exchanges and other advertisements.

This is 100% legitimate.

2) You download a trial, demo, shareware or free application, which upon installation also install a software which will open pop-ups at random intervals.

The additional ad-ware software is mentioned in the EULA or other licensing agreement of the software, but since the users almost never read these, they don't know they just accepted to have pop-up active randomly and have their machine's resources used by these processes.

This is also legitimate, but barely. The information regarding the additional software IS in the licensing agreement. Unfortunatelly, the users don't read that, or the software company goes to great lenghts to obfuscate the license making it impossible for non-lawyers to read. This borders on fraud.

3) The last case is that when someone used force (security breach) or fraud (mimicking sites, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc) to get you to do something from him, unwillingly, such as look at advertisements, send spam or steal or data.

This is 100% completly wrong and it's unexcusable, since no agreement between the 2 parts involved exist.


To conclude, if you are getting lots of pop-up showing up at random times you must have recently installed some shareware software, piggy-backed by a ad-aware application.

Removing the offensing ad-ware is easy, with Spybot-S&D or Ad-Aware, but be warned, since the shareware/freeware/demo/trial you initially installed might not work without its parasite.

If you want to block pop-ups generated by site authors, you can use a pop-up blocker, such as that provided by the Google Toolbar, but I think it is immoral to get just a part site's content, without the ads, so that the author won't get hes money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...