“Lately I’ve heard a lot on technical podcasts about the public outrage over “Microsoft Genuine Advantage” and the fact that it ‘phones home’ every day,” Daniel Jalkut reports for Red Sweater Blog.
“Apple released Mac OS X 10.4.7 last week, and ever since I installed it, I’ve been noticing Apple’s own modest home phoning behavior. In this case it’s ostensibly to provide users with the opportunity to check whether the Dashboard Widgets you download are identical to ones featured on Apple’s site. Sort of a security debriefing, I guess,” Jalkut reports.
From the 10.4.7 release notes:
You can now verify whether or not a Dashboard widget you downloaded is the same version as a widget featured on (http://www.apple.com) before installing it.
Jalkut writes, “The problem is this feature popped up without my permission, and there’s no obvious way for me to turn it off… I can’t see that anything at all is being sent back to Apple, but that’s sort of not the point. The mere act of “checking in” lets Apple know that I’m here and I’m running 10.4.7. They didn’t ask my permission to start making this regular checkin, and I’m not even sure what benefit I’m going to be getting out of allowing it.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Shades of the iTunes ‘MiniStore’ brouhaha (please see related articles below). Apple should ask permission first, explain what they are doing, and give users the option to turn the “feature” off if so desired.
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Apple’s iTunes MiniStore now asks for permission before operating – January 18, 2006
Critics say Apple snooping on users via new ITunes ‘MiniStore’ feature – January 13, 2006