WASHINGTON STATE’S ANTI-SPYWARE LEGISLATION AND CASE LAW

Washington State enacted a Computer Spyware Act (the “Act”) in 2005 with the intention of preventing the installation and use of unauthorized spyware software on computers, and generally prohibiting unauthorized intrusions into users’ computers. A number of court cases have been filed based on this and related statutes that have been settled out of court, with companies paying fines and legal fees for breaches of law. Moreover, these settlement agreements have required the defendant companies to cease from future violations of the statute along with paying proper restitution to customers.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Does the Act apply to non-Washington State companies?
Have there been any other cases alleging a violation of the Act?
What has been the treatment of Washington State’s laws in Federal court?

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