There has been a lot of buzz lately about Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage(a.k.a. WGA) . WGA was designed to check a computer to ensure that it is running a valid, genuine version of Windows. However, WGA checks into Microsoft daily which some say should be considered spyware. Software is considered spyware when it is installed without user’s consent or knowledge and is typically used for malicious purposes.
A Los Angeles resident has filed a suit against Microsoft saying that they weren’t upfront and didn’t give PC users a choice when WGA was installed through Automatic Updates. Microsoft defends WGA saying that the user gives consent and is only used to let a user know if their copy isn’t legit. Coincidentally, the lawyer representing the L.A resident is the same who represented consumers during the lawsuit against Sony for placing the copy-protection software ‘rootkit’ on PC’s through music CDs. The software was to prevent music from being copied illegally. In the process, it disabled protections against viruses and spyware. I expect this won’t be the last we hear of WGA.