Recently I saw someone ask in a forum thread what security companies people still trust. In many cases users stated that even though they use certain security products. They don’t explicitly trust the software vendor that produces them. So my question is – are there any companies out there that we can still trust? How many companies have we seen over the years violate their own privacy terms? Over the years we have seen companies state that the information we give them will only be used by them. Only to find out later that this information was sold to other companies for their use. Granted many software developers and websites have now changed their policies to be more clear. This took place only after much uproar. For many end users this isn’t even a concern or something they think about. I recently did an article asking if we are giving away our data for to cheap of a price. While putting our privacy at risk. My thought is how can you even use a companies product if you don’t have some amount of trust in how they do things? The interesting thing is we see people doing this on a daily basis. You’ll hear users scream about how Microsoft is evil and can’t be trusted. Yet the majority of them are in fact Microsoft customers using an operating system designed by that company. In the past we have seen customers voice concerns in regards to Zone Labs ZoneAlarm product and how it handles privacy. The good majority of these people still continue to use the product though.
With Microsoft’s Vista coming out later this year. I think we will see even more questions raised in regards to privacy. Microsoft is taking more and more control away from the end user. They definitely didn’t learn much from their antitrust lawsuit. We have seen the start of all this recently in XP. You must have Microsoft’s update service enabled or you can’t get updates. The company stresses that you should just trust them and allow automatic updates to occur. Of course Microsoft has always stated that no personal identifiable information is passed to them during this process. But how do we know this is true? Granted by now if it wasn’t someone would have called them to task for this. Yet your still having to have some level of trust in Microsoft to allow this automatic updating to take place.
Another company that is on a lot of minds in regards to privacy is Google. Yes the company says their motto is to do no harm. But who decides what is and isn’t harmful? Can we trust them to abide by their motto? Google would say that recently they did their best to protect users privacy. When they were asked to turn over certain data to a United States government agency. Although if we look at this in a bit more detail. To me it seems as if they were just trying to protect what they felt was proprietary data they didn’t want the competition to maybe have access to. Of course the company would put a positive spin on the situation. By stating they were only sticking up for the privacy of the common man and woman.
In many cases our choices are limited. This of course makes choosing who we do business with and who we won’t all that much harder. In reality how many people stopped buying Sony products after they got caught installing rootkits on customers computers? I’d venture to bet that many of you are still using and buying Sony products to this day. Even though they directly violated the privacy and security of their customers. When I built my new computer recently. I once again bought a Sony DVD burner. Why? Do to previous experience with their product, features and the all important price. So even though I fully detest their actions in regards to music cds and users privacy. I was a hypocrite like many others and still purchased a product manufactured by them. The sad thing is that these companies know that this will be the case almost always. So they know they can get away with doing whatever it is they feel like doing. Do to the fact that they normally won’t suffer any large economic impact do to treating customers like day old garbage.
So what companies online or off do you trust and why?
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