Microsoft's WGA Woes Highlight User Rights
Companies can expect to see more software hit the market that, once installed, can soak in its surroundings and report back on what it finds. But vendors won't necessarily be able to bully this technology onto their customers' computers, as Microsoft tried with its Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy software. The benefits of fighting software piracy are clear, but users should also know that they have rights when it comes to having software surreptitiously installed on their systems.
Microsoft is learning this the hard way, as it defends itself from two lawsuits before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington State that accuse the company of installing spyware on its users' computers under the guise of a "critical security update" that turned out to be the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification software. Installed as part of Windows Auto Update, WGA searches for pirated copies of Windows XP. InformationWeek | spyware, privacy, WGA, Sony | Microsoft's WGA Woes Highlight User Rights | July 13, 2006
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