Spyware is software downloaded onto a computer that has deceptive intentions and the following characteristics: a) sneaky delivery; b) secret collection; c) changing settings; d) and resisting removal. Spyware can ruin user experiences and increase support costs for ISPs, software developers and computer sellers.

NetChoice supports legislation that focuses on bad behavior instead of banning technologies. Early spyware legislation prohibited the installation or transmission of software that collects personally identifiable information. However, it is important that legitimate exchanges of information be preserved, particularly for license and subscription validation, password checking, security monitoring, parental controls, and network management.