Windows Media Player

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by FanJ, Sep 10, 2003.

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  1. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi,

    I don't know whether this was mentioned earlier.

    Recently there was a fix from MS for MediaPlayer.
    I believe it was KB 817787.

    I myself have a bit older version of it; anyhow I installed the fix.

    A scan with PestPatrol showed me the following two reg-keys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\microsoft\mediaplayer\player\settings|client id

    HKEY_USERS\.default\software\microsoft\mediaplayer\player\settings|client id


    Now I know that PestPatrol has sometimes a false positive, but I have the feeling that that is here not the case.

    It looks to me that that fix installed again those reg-keys.

    Can anyone confirm this?
     
  2. Peaches4U

    Peaches4U Registered Member

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    Hi FanJ - Windows Media Player 7 & 8 are confirmed to have spyware and Windows Media Player 9 is currently under investigation. This is the report I got on Media Player 7 & 8: Will be away for a few days so hope you find this info. helpful. Cheers.

    Software Name: Windows Media Player
    Version: 7 and 8
    Software Supplier: Microsoft
    Software Website: http://www.microsoft.com
    Offending Party: Internal
    Remarks: Version 7 and version 8, bundled with Windows XP, creates a list of the digital songs and movies each computer user has played. Microsoft's original privacy statement informed customers that they were downloading the information about CDs but never stated that the information was being stored in a log file on each computer. The new statement makes clear that information is being downloaded for both DVDs and CDs, but does not explain how users can eliminate or get into the log file.

    Clearing the list of songs and movie titles would cripple Media Player. Stopping the program from collecting any more information would mean changing the software's settings, but that would disable Internet broadcasts.

    As part of downloading the information about songs and movies from the Web site, the program also transmits an identifier number unique to each user on the computer which creates the possibility that user habits can be tracked and sold. Jonathan Usher, a Windows Media executive, said Microsoft has no plans to market aggregate information about its customers' viewing habits, but would not rule it out.

    Simply closing Windows Media Player version 8.00.00.4490 on a Windows XP machine triggered ZoneAlarm to display the following alert:
    "Do you want to allow Windows Media Player to use Microsoft Media Configuration Utility to access the Internet?" NOTE: All options related to the sending or collection of information along with the automatic download of codecs were unchecked in the program's preference settings prior to testing.
    Status: Confirmed
    Entry Date: 25-Feb-2002
     
  3. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Thanks Peaches4U for the info!

    I have version 7.10.00.3074 (I hardly ever use it) on my W 98 SE box.
    I thought that I had disabled all "privacy" settings in it in the past; I guess the fix "installed" them again.

    And in IEClean I have both the following boxes checkmarked:
    Block MediaPlayer monitoring;
    Remove MediaPlayer opened file list from media player.
     
  4. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    Hi FanJ, :)

    Have you tried scanning with Spybot S&D, if I remember correctly that does flag those too. Pretty sure about the first one anyway.

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  5. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi Pieter :)

    I never let PP delete anything, but -I hardly dare to tell it you :oops: - this time I did it :rolleyes: o_O Another mistake by me.... My brain should start working again.... :oops: :oops:
     
  6. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    Spybot S&D finds the reg keys also. It looks like there's no way around this one, unless you uninstall or not use.
     
  7. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Thanks Notageek !
     
  8. AplusWebMaster

    AplusWebMaster Registered Member

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    :( You can go here ( http://windowsmedia.com/mediaguide/Privacy/ ) to read the "WindowsMedia.com Privacy Statement"...if you're a lawyer, you -may- understand it completely.

    But when you get to the "What Information Does WindowsMedia.com Gather?", it states, "In general, WindowsMedia.com does not collect personally identifiable information...", which IMHO, even -not- being a lawyer, but being able to read between the lines, means "specifically", they do.
     
  9. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    I'm always ready to quote Kevin McAvealey from the Helpfile of IEClean ;):

    Quote:

    Media Player 7 has already earned the scorn of privacy advocates for its insistence on calling home to Microsoft and providing detailed information to sites on what you view, what you listen to and what you have in your digital media collection. This function disconnects the "spyware" portion of Media Player to prevent it from "calling home" and providing demographics data to sites you download from.

    IEClean is Copyright 1996-2001 by Privacy Software Corporation
     
  10. neo1

    neo1 Registered Member

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    Pest Patrol picked up the Media Player spyware. Spybot and Ad-aware (latest versions did not). When I deleted the ID then my audio system would not work and I began having system wide problems.

    I bought XP with privacy and security in mind. I think we all need to write MS Feedback and suggest that their first loyalty is to their customers and that they remove the spyware and supply a patch to remove it from existing users. MS has lost my loyalty now.

    http://register.microsoft.com/contactus30/contactus.asp?domain=generic
     
  11. Peaches4U

    Peaches4U Registered Member

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  12. neo1

    neo1 Registered Member

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    The problem I am having is that I used the XP CD to "remove" Media Player. When I checked the registry keys are still there. If I try to remove the ID the I get systemwide failure. It appears XP was programed so one cannot remove the Spyware.

    On a slightly different topic I tried to remove Messenger the same way. My firewall is still letting me know that Messenger is trying to reach the internet even though it is "not installed".
     
  13. optigrab

    optigrab Registered Member

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    I may have read this thread too quickly, but allow me to think and type out loud and ask a couple of questions.
    Is this a problem if you are not using WMP, but the registry keys are still there?

    That leads to a more general question: Does simply not using WMP, but rather an alternative player still present a privacy problem, practically speaking?

    I have WMP 6.4 still on my home machine, and I installed several alternative players on my office machine, including Media Player Classic w/Real Alternative to play real media files. Any comments or suggestions on this route?

    Regards
    Optigrab
     
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