Microsoft Patent Application Raises Security Concerns

Dennis Faas's picture

In what's beginning to look like the technological version of "One Flew Vver the Cuckoo's Nest," Microsoft filed a patent application on July 5 detailing advertising software that uses applications and data on a computer rather than the web. (Source: Information Week)

The summary of the patent, which amounts to nothing short of adware, begins with this lengthy statement:

"an advertising framework may reside on a user computer, whether it's a part of the OS (operating system), an application or integrated within applications. Applications, tools, or utilities may use an application program interface to report context data tags such as key words or other information that may be used to target advertisements."

"The advertising framework may host several components for receiving and processing the context data, refining the data, requesting advertisements from an advertising supplier, for receiving and forwarding advertisements to a display client for presentation, and for providing data back to the advertising supplier."

"Various display clients may also use an application program interface for receiving advertisements from the advertising framework. An application, such as a word processor or email client, may serve as both a source of context data and as a display client. Stipulations may be made by the application hosting the display client with respect to the nature of acceptable advertising, restrictions on use of alternate display clients, as well as, specifying supported media."

It goes on to note that "Targeting advertisements is highly valued by advertisers because it allows placement of advertisements that are theoretically of greater interest to a particular audience member than blanket advertising."

The ultimate meaning?

It's not clear yet whether the adware would be built into the operating system or other programs, but it could end up gathering information from every file on a user's hard drive in order that it may be sent to advertisers.

It's becoming more and more evident that Microsoft is in business for everyone but their customers. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to pay even more for the next secure version of Windows, boasting a built in data-mining program. Incredible.

Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet