Microsoft sued over Windows Genuine Advantage

Microsoft logoA case started in a Washington district court suing Microsoft over its Windows XP Genuine Advantage program.

The class action alleges that the WGA was dramatically expanded in April 2006 and altered the means which the program delivered, "violating the law".

Instead of identifying the WGA as an anti-piracy download option, Microsoft is alleged to have described the program as a high priority update, without giving users an explanation of what the program was or would do on computers.

WGA, the filing continued contains two components - a Notification program that identified if a copy of the OS was legit, and a validation component that collected information from computers and sent it back to Microsoft. An additional component, it's alleged, has a phone home function, which relays information about PCs on a daily basis.

"Microsoft hid, misrepresented and/or failed to disclose the true nature, features, and functionality of the WGA software to consumers. Contrary to the express statements Microsoft made in the inadequate disclosures that were provided, the software collected and communicated private identifying information from consumer's computers and sent that information back to Microsoft on a daily basis," the filing said.

That, it's alleged breaches consumer protection and anti-spyware statues. "This lawsuit is brought to provide a remedy to consumers for Microsoft's misleading and unlawful conduct in installing uninstallable licensing enforcement software under the guise and misrepresentation of a security update, hiding the true nature, operation, and functionality of the software that was downloaded, and collecting personal and identifying information from every computer on which this software is installed without informed consent," it continued.

Damages, if the plaintiffs' case is proved, will amount to over $5,000,000, the filing said.

The filing quotes David Lazar, the Microsoft director of Genuine Windows as saying: "The system works by identifying unique characteristics of a system and implanting a software key that can be read by Microsoft when updates are requested. The only way to remove the key is to reformat the hard drive..The key won't be used to identify individual users, only individual systems. I would go back to our privacy policy, which says we have no knowledge of the identity of the users, so a user shouldn't be concerned about the use of that key."

That, the plaintiffs allege, isn't true. "WGA Verification collects and transmits an enormous amount of sensitive information to Microsoft. WGA Verification validates its Windows XP installation on a daily basis. In addition to the information collected above, WGA Verification also collects users' Internet Protocol address and their domain name server's IP address."

Source: TG Daily

Tags: Microsoft

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)