Microsoft's Calling Home Problem: It's a Matter of Informed Consent

Posted by tuxchick2 on Jun 11, 2006 2:25 PM EDT
Groklaw; By PJ
Mail this story
Print this story

here we go again- same dung, different day
No doubt many of you saw on Slashdot the article "Microsoft Talks Daily With Your Computer" or in Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols article for eWeek titled, Big Microsoft Brother, about allegations that Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool phones home daily to report information to Microsoft about you on each boot. Lauren Weinstein broke the story on his blog. Microsoft has now put out a statement, asserting that the Windows Genuine Advantage tool is not spyware, that they're going to change it some, and that one thing that distinguishes it from spyware is that they get consent before installing it. I question the accuracy of the statement.

David Berlind did a fabulous job of discovering that in fact the tool has two parts, one of which is new, the Notification part, as you can see in his helpful series of screenshots. First, he explains how the applications actually work. His research indicated to him that Microsoft asks permission for only one of the two, but the wrong one. I think it's muddier even than that, after reading the EULA. Thanks to Berlind's work, I see a legal problem with consent, which I noticed by reading the EULA. I also see a problem with the statement Microsoft has issued with regard to what information it collects. And something in the EULA needs to be explained, because it doesn't match Microsoft's statement

Full Story

  Nav
» Read more about: Story Type: News Story; Groups: Microsoft

« Return to the newswire homepage

Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Microslimey strikes again grouch 3 1,666 Jun 12, 2006 12:36 PM

You cannot post until you login.