The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) has dropped its investigation in P2P service LimeWire. The investigation centered around ID theft and the inadvertent sharing of sensitive files in the LimeWire network.
When LimeWire is installed, it allows users to share files via a peer-to-peer network, and the investigation centered around the concept that LimeWire originally would automatically share a user's files rather than letting the user opt-in. Many people were sharing files they did not know they were sharing on the wide-open P2P network.
The FTC found that LimeWire provided enough safeguards to protect users, and had improved its offering on letting users know about the dangers of inadvertently sharing sensitive files on the P2P network, like tax documents, bank statements and other types of information.
"Among the factors we considered are Lime Wire's incorporation of safeguards against the inadvertent sharing of sensitive, personal documents into the user interface of more recent versions of its software; our understanding that the attrition rate for legacy versions is substantial; the apparent inability of Lime Wire to force users to upgrade legacy versions of the software to more recent versions; and the possibility that users of some of the older versions of LimeWire may have been able to avoid disclosure of sensitive information," reads the letter to LimeWire from FTC Associate Director Mary Koelbel Engle.
LimeWire has had a rough year, with lawsuits coming from major recording labels (found guilty) and the National Music Publishers Association (pending).