Saturday, August 25, 2012

Microsoft Windows 8 Smart Screen: Safety or Surveillance?

Yet another controversy regarding Windows 8. It includes, by default (but can be disabled in security settings) Smart Screen that allegedly monitors "application reputation". 

Supposedly to help protect users from malicious apps, some tech people are alarmed at the invasion of privacy, since Smart Screen reports back to Microsoft every application you download to your computer. Is this a safety or a surveillance issue, or both? You decide.

musicon on SlashDot says: "...This is a very serious privacy problem, specifically because Microsoft is the central point of authority and data collection/retention here and therefore becomes vulnerable to being served judicial subpoenas or National Security Letters intended to monitor targeted users. This situation is exacerbated when Windows 8 is deployed in countries experiencing political turmoil or repressive political situations."

IE Blog (Windows IE Engineering Team Blog) "Smart Screen Application Reputation"

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