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Windows Genuine Advantage phones home

Windows Genuine AdvantageHere's a bit we missed when it went around on Wednesday: Remember Windows Genuine Advantage, the app from Microsoft that will helpfully notify you, over and over again, if it thinks your copy of Windows or Office is pirated? It turns out nagging isn't its only trick. Windows Genuine Advantage also quietly phones home to Microsoft's servers, "checking in" each and every day. Microsoft calls the phone-home functionality a "safety check"--they say the software is still a pilot program, and it needs to check in in case of "an unforeseen emergency that would require the program to terminate quickly." Uh... huh. Microsoft has acknowledged that though the imformation-gathering is disclosed in the shrinkwrap EULA, they should have been more up-front about the check-in and plans better disclosure in the future. Right. Because that will make everybody feel better about it.

Tags: genuineadvantage, microsoft, phonehome, privacy, security, wga, windows, xp