A man from Washington is suing insecurity company Symantec claiming that he was terrified into buying its products.
James Gross said that Symantec seeks to persuade consumers to buy its products by scaring them with misleading information about the health of their computers.
He is suing the company in San Jose and Reuters was given a copy of the complaint.
Gross said that Symantec distributes trial versions of its products that scan a consumer’s system, then invariably report that harmful errors, privacy risks and other problems exists on the PC.
Symantec uses the scanning software to market Norton Utilities, PC Tools Registry Mechanic and PC Tools Performance Toolkit software.
Gross said that the software is falsely informing the consumer that errors are high priority and in addition, it is falsely informing the consumer that their overall system health and privacy health is low.
Gross believes that Norton Utilities and PC Tools are forms of “scareware,” which is software that causes pop-up messages to appear on computers telling users that they are infected with a virus.
He said that the scareware does not actually perform any meaningful evaluation of the user’s computer system.
“The scareware does not, and cannot, actually perform the valuable tasks represented by Symantec through its websites, advertising, and in-software display screens,” the court document said.