Monday, July 29, 2019

Let's call a spade a spade

from here

I saw the term surveillanceware used in this Ars Technica article and it got under my skin. I've also seen stalkerware and creepware, and they all facilitate the same thing - spying on the person using the device the malware is installed on. Why do we need all these terms for the same thing? Do they add anything meaningful? Not that I can see.

The term surveillanceware is particularly bad. Compared to "spy", the word "surveillance" is harder to spell, harder to say, and unfamiliar to the less educated members of society. If I were trying to give spyware a PR make-over, surveillanceware seems like a good way to do it, and that begs the question: who would try to do such a thing?