• noun a type of software that can be installed on someone’s hard disk without that person’s knowledge. It is designed to send back encoded information about the computer owner’s identity and the way he or she uses the Internet to the person who installed it.


  • Software that tracks and gathers information about where a user navigates within the Web. Spyware may be used, for instance, for statistical purposes, or may be employed to scrutinize unsuspecting Web surfers.

Media Studies

  • noun software that is secretly installed on a hard disk without the user’s knowledge and collects encoded information on his or her identity and Internet use via an Internet connection