The long, drawn-out saga of the Sony rootkit is drawing to a close, it seems, as the FTC announced a settlement with the media company that will force it to post kit-sweeping software for two years at its site and reimburse consumers up to $150 for damages to their PCs.
The settlement comes a little more than a month after Sony paid $1.5 million to settle suits by the states of Texas and California. BusinessWeek this morning reports that Sony BMG has settled suits from 40 states.
Although Sony admitted no legal wrongdoing in its settlement with the FTC, the list of prohibitions it agreed to sounds like the penalties doled out to a botnet operator: a ban on using data collected though the rootkit for marketing, along with a formal agreement to not install software without users' consent.
Exactly why Sony ever thought it was a good idea to stealth-install its anti-piracy bug in the first place is not part of the formal disclosure, unfortunately.