Badware Company Receives Award, StopBadware Blog reports
Ernst & Young recently awarded their Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® award to the management of Freeze.com, LLC. You might remember Freeze.com as the makers of “Waterfalls 3,” a piece of software that we tested earlier this year and found to be badware (see our report, which we’ll need to update now).
After learning of the award, we retested the application to see if the company had cleaned up its act. We found that Freeze.com had improved the installation process by better allowing users to opt-out of installing bundled apps and by more explicitly disclosing some of the bundled apps’ bad behaviors. However, spyware is still being downloaded without user consent as part of the screensaver bundle (in the form of Webhancer components). So while it appears that Freeze.com has made some progress, we feel that its practices are a long way from what should be considered the industry ideal.
We question whether a company like Ernst & Young should be rewarding the “entrepreneurial” efforts of a company like Freeze.com. By our badware guidelines, the company’s screensavers are still badware, and any business model that relies on deceiving consumers should not be applauded. We feel that Freeze.com was the wrong company to receive this award.