While he's not the only one this type of secrecy happens to, TMacK just happened to discover it, and hopefully took action.
Software companies aren't off the hook. They distribute their software and they know exactly what's in them, and they don't tell you. I guess it's for our own good that we don't need to know what gets installed on our computers, and let alone, these programs transmit back to the Internet. They are transmitting to the Internet for one reason or another. And most likely it's to:
a. report on what you're doing on your computer
b. report what programs you have on your computer
c. report what content you have on your computer
d. report your personal and private information that's on your computer.
There may be more agendas, but those are the main ones that I know of.
Software companies may blame the p2p, sharing and all of the other cop-outs as to why they lose money on their software, but the truth is that people don't want to pay for software with the companies that practices unethical marketing. It's bad enough that after you pay for the over-bloated software, with the added spyware and such, they have the nerve to inform you that there is a newer version out,.. and depending on the software, you have to pay for it too. Another trick and a gimmick.... and as far as I'm concerned, unethical and fraudulent.
But below is a privacy statement that software vendors/distributors/creators need to be aware of.
1. I do not want any type of crap on my computer unless I specifically OK it.
2. I do not want anything installed without my permission.
3. I don't want some poorly programmed piece of crap crashing my computer, changing my bookmarks and homepage, and making itself part of the operating system so I can't delete it without instructions from the internet.
4. I do not want programs that record what I am doing.
5. I don't want programs accessing the internet at random intervals to send data to its home servers.
6. I don't care if "At no point is the CUID connected to a user's name, email address, or other personal contact information".
When can you install something on my computer?
If you get within arms length distance of my computer and can install it before I turn off your lights, then I will allow it. Other than that, you're not permitted to install anything on my computer without me ok'ing it.
I've sent the above to 2 companies awhile back when I found out who was responsible for installing 2 programs, which had nothing to do with the original programs I installed.
It's just like if you installed a burner software, for instance, and then when you look on your desktop, you have an icon for a poker web site. Secret crap like that will piss anyone off. But they do it.
Also, if you find out the company that secretly installs anything on your computer, it's very wise to let them know that you've found out it was them, and you're going to let others know. I have no problem at all letting a company know that I'll never buy or use their software again if they betray me like that.
Words of the wise:
9. Don't leave your personal information on your computer
11. Use a program that can monitor anything you install on your computer
12. Use a program that can monitor your registry (very important step) normally, your problem starts there
13. Use a program to block ip's from connecting to your computer
14. Always do a manual update on anything. NEVER let your computer automatically update anything. And I mean ANYTHING. It's just as easy and safe to click a button to do a manual update.
15. When uninstalling programs, check the install logs, and manually go to each folder and verify files and folders are gone. There are programs that you can uninstall, but they leave other programs that still try to communicate back to the Internet. Trust me on that. I've had them before. (Trust, but verify - The Late Ronald Reagan)
Hopefully all of you will continue to take the time and know what is on your computer, and if you're not sure what something is, the search engines can be your best friend. I can honestly say that I use the search engines more than any Internet site I use.