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User suing Microsoft over WGA notification, calling it spyware

From the Seattle PI:A computer user is suing Microsoft Corp. over the company's Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy tool, alleging that it violates laws against spyware.

From the Seattle PI:

A computer user is suing Microsoft Corp. over the company's Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy tool, alleging that it violates laws against spyware.

The suit by Los Angeles resident Brian Johnson, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle, seeks class-action status for claims that Microsoft didn't adequately disclose details of the tool when it was delivered to PC users through the company's Automatic Update system.

A Microsoft spokesman says the lawsuit is "baseless" and denies that the Windows Genuine Advantage tool is spyware. Microsoft published instructions yesterday for disabling and removing WGA notification. Apparently they are having second thoughts about it. Windows IT Pro quotes a Microsoft statement saying "Our customers have told us that they were disappointed with their WGA Notifications experience, and we have made an effort to improve that with this update," referring to an change on June 27 to WGA so it longer sends information to Microsoft on each computer boot up.

The attorney representing Johnson, Scott Kamber of Kamber & Associates LLC in New York, also was co-counsel for consumers in the lawsuit about the Sony DRM rootkit.

"The statute says that people have a right to know what's on their computer," Kamber said. "We're at a point in time right now where people's rights on their own computers and technology are really at issue."

Spyware expert and attorney Ben Edelman is quoted -  "The disclosure was slim to none, and it certainly isn't what we're looking for as a matter of public policy from a distinguished company like Microsoft."

I couldn't agree more. I still have the WGA notification disabled as described in my blog here.