The U.S. government’s top cybercrime watchdog has come out swinging against companies that have built user interfaces and websites that use the popular desktop software that many of its users use on a daily basis.
In a new report released Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused two major players of being deceptive when it comes to their user interface and websites, calling them “unethical” for using third-party software to make it easier for them to monetize their products.
“While the FTC believes that these companies should be held accountable for the actions they have taken to enable their products to be used on the Internet, we find that the deceptive practices of these companies are not consistent with their business practices and pose a risk to consumers,” the report reads.
The FTC report was released in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, which claims the FTC’s investigation into how third-parties are using Adobe Flash Player and other free software has led to the “unprecedented abuse” of users’ rights.
“It is unfortunate that the FTC has taken the unprecedented step of bringing this issue to its attention,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry.
“We’re glad that the commission has taken this step because we believe that consumers deserve better than companies that exploit their users’ trust and privacy to sell their products and services.”
The FTC’s complaint comes as the U