Now Apple OSX is phoning home

Written by Wil Harris

July 10, 2006 | 12:01

Tags: #home #osx #phone #privacy #windows-genuine-advantage

Companies: #apple #microsoft

There is now evidence that Apple is taking a leaf out of Microsoft's book and having the latest version of OSX phone home to the company's own servers.

Microsoft has come under fire for its Windows Genuine Advantage programme, which until last week fired home regular data about the machine it was installed on. The latest update to OSX doesn't do quite the same thing, but still sends surreptitious data back to Apple.

The Mac-maker says that the data is used to make sure that the user's desktop widgets are up to date - but analysis shows that the system is phoning home as much as twice every seven hours, which seems rather excessive.

There's no hard evidence that anything iffy is going on, but the whole situation just seems a little suspicious. Apple has traditionally been far more lax about piracy than Microsoft - OSX doesn't even require a CD key to install, let alone incorporate an anti-piracy system. This has traditionally been because OSX will only install on Macs so widespread piracy is not a massive issue.

We'll be following this issue as it continues - it seems that Apple would be stupid to go down the route that has attracted MS so much flak in recent weeks. Let us know what you think over in the forums.
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