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Where does spyware and adware information end up?

When spyware or adware information is gathered from your computer, where does it go? Does it go to businesses, government, third parties or anyone that wants access?

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This isn't an easy question to answer; it usually depends on the company that produced the little gremlin that does the harvesting. Some of them use it for internal purposes only, but some of them may be selling it to who knows whom for what ends. The best way to deal with any spyware is to delete it and assume that whatever they are looking for, it isn't theirs to have.

This was first published in November 2003

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