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05.13.14

Microsoft Should be Sued for Lifting Android Apps Without Permission

Posted in Law, Microsoft at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nokia and Android

Summary: Nokia’s proxy-like role in Android contributes to yet more privacy violations and disregard for the law

Microsoft’s arrogance and disregard for the law could not be much clearer than this (image copied above for future reference). “Report immediately for piracy. Not even kidding,” said one person in the comments.

Several times in the past we wrote about what Microsoft had planned for Nokia, focusing especially on privacy violations of a high degree [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Perhaps one of the obvious concerns here is not just Microsoft’s flagrant disregard for the law but also its abuses against privacy, which we wrote about many times before. One new article correctly points out that “[u]sing Microsoft products may be unethical for universities” because of privacy, not just because it’s proprietary. To quote:

Universities and researchers all over the world have a problem with Microsoft. It’s not just that the company forces expensive and dated software on customers. Using products like Microsoft’s email service Outlook is potentially in breach of the ethical contracts researchers sign when they promise to safeguard the privacy of their subjects.

The revelations about spying by the United States National Security Agency and the United Kingdom’s GCHQ – Government Communications Headquarters – have led people everywhere to ask whether their data is secure.

But unlike many others, researchers face serious ethical implications if the answer is ‘no’.

When a researcher wants to carry out a study, s/he has to run it past an ethics review committee. This committee does its best to ensure that scholarly practices protect the privacy and safety of research subjects.

Medical researchers gather sensitive information about our fragile bodies, psychologists about our minds, law scholars about our crimes, sociologists about our private lives.

Microsoft deserves to be shunned from computing for many other reasons, but its inertia and its control over the press keeps masking or censoring judgment of its practices.

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