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Proprietary Surveillance

Nonfree (proprietary) software is very often malware (designed to mistreat the user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers, which puts them in a position of power over the users; that is the basic injustice. The developers often exercise that power to the detriment of the users they ought to serve.

This document attempts to track clearly established cases of proprietary software that spies on or tracks users.

Other examples of proprietary malware

Introduction

For decades, the Free Software movement has been denouncing the abusive surveillance machine of proprietary software companies such as Microsoft and Apple. In the recent years, this tendency to watch people has spread across industries, not only in the software business, but also in the hardware. Moreover, it also spread dramatically away from the keyboard, in the mobile computing industry, in the office, at home, in transportation systems, and in the classroom.

Aggregate Information Collection

Many companies, in their privacy policy, have a clause that claims they share aggregate, non-personally identifiable information with third parties/partners. Such claims are worthless, for several reasons:

Therefore, we must never pay any attention to what companies say they will do with the data they collect. The wrong is that they collect it at all.

Latest additions

Latest additions are found on top under each category.

Spyware in Operating Systems

(#OSSpyware)

Spyware in Windows

(#SpywareInWindows)

Microsoft's snooping on users did not start with Windows 10. There's a lot more Microsoft malware.

Spyware in MacOS

(#SpywareInMacOS)

There's a lot more iThing spyware, and Apple malware.

Spyware in Android

(#SpywareInAndroid)

Spyware on Mobiles

(#SpywareOnMobiles)

Spyware in iThings

(#SpywareIniThings)

Spyware in Telephones

(#SpywareInTelephones)

Spyware in Mobile Applications

(#SpywareInMobileApps)

Spyware in Games

(#SpywareInGames)

Spyware in Toys

(#SpywareInToys)

Spyware at Low Level

(#SpywareAtLowLevel)

Spyware in BIOS

(#SpywareInBIOS)

Spyware at Work

(#SpywareAtWork)

Spyware in Skype

(#SpywareInSkype)

Spyware on The Road

(#SpywareOnTheRoad)

Spyware in Cameras

(#SpywareInCameras)

Spyware in e-Readers

(#SpywareInElectronicReaders)

Spyware in Vehicles

(#SpywareInVehicles)

Spyware at Home

(#SpywareAtHome)

Spyware in TV Sets

(#SpywareInTVSets)

Emo Phillips made a joke: The other day a woman came up to me and said, “Didn't I see you on television?” I said, “I don't know. You can't see out the other way.” Evidently that was before Amazon “smart” TVs.

Spyware at Play

(#SpywareAtPlay)

Spyware on the Web

(#SpywareOnTheWeb)

In addition, many web sites spy on their visitors. Web sites are not programs, so it makes no sense to call them “free” or “proprietary”, but the surveillance is an abuse all the same.

Spyware in Chrome

(#SpywareInChrome)

Spyware in Flash

(#SpywareInFlash)

Javascript code is another method of “fingerprinting” devices.

Spyware Everywhere

(#SpywareEverywhere)

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