HCS/HB 1397 - The "Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act" makes it illegal to copy software onto the computer of another without that person's authorization. The software in question collects personal information without authorization, removes any security systems installed on the computer, modifies internet settings, and prevents an authorized user's reasonable efforts to block the installation of or disable installed software.
The act makes it illegal to take control of another's computer without that person's authorization by, among other things, transmitting a computer virus or accessing the modem of another without authorization for the purpose of causing damage or incurring unauthorized financial charges.
The act makes it illegal for any person or entity to install or copy software onto the computer of another by misrepresenting that such software is necessary for security or privacy reasons.
The act makes it illegal to assist or conspire in any of the offenses laid out in the act. Any violation of the act shall be punishable as a Class B misdemeanor.
The act makes it clear that a manufacturer or retailer of computer equipment will not be liable to the extent that the manufacturer or retailer is providing third-party branded software loaded on the equipment they are manufacturing or selling.