Microsoft antipiracy tool 'acts like spyware'

by admin June 8, 2006 at 4:03 am

The Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications tool will contact Microsoft daily, but the software firm insists this shouldn’t alarm you

Microsoft has vowed to better disclose the actions of its antipiracy tool once it is installed on Windows PCs.

The tool, called Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications, is designed to validate whether a copy of Windows has been legitimately acquired. However, it also checks in with Microsoft on a daily basis, the company confirmed on Wednesday.

This has alarmed some people, such as Lauren Weinstein, a civil liberties activist, who likened it to spyware in a blog posting.
Microsoft disputes that notion. It said that WGA’s regular call home is innocent and done for necessary maintenance purposes.

“The WGA Notifications program checks a server-side configuration setting to determine if WGA should run or not,” a Microsoft representative said in an e-mailed statement. “As part of the pilot, this gives Microsoft the ability to disable the program if necessary.”

Full story: ZDNet UK