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Hello Mr. Georgeson,
First off I would like to sincerely thank you for coming to us and getting our side of the story instead of just making a decision from the horror stories that are out on the internet. Below I will give you some information that will shed light on said subject and if you feel that you must go else where for your tax software, then by all means do so. At least you will be one of the few who can say, I've heard "argument A" and I've heard "argument B" and my decision is.... You know what I mean? We at Intuit Inc totally believe in that the customer MUST do what he or she feels is right. As everyone knows, this is the first time ever that we have required a Product Activation and from listening to our customers, we are already working on a better way to enforce Product Activation instead of the way that is currently used. So we do listen to everyone and we do what we think is best for Intuit Inc and all of our customers. Please let me know if you have any further questions or comments or even ideas.
Executive Response Team
The Macrovision SafeCast technology being used this year by TurboTax to enable product activation does write a small amount of data to an area of the first track of the hard disk that is not used by the Windows file system, as do a number of other programs and utilities. This data, which contains no personally identifiable information, provides a way for TurboTax to tell that it has already been successfully activated on a particular computer. It is placed in this area so that if a customer's license data becomes corrupted or is accidentally deleted, reactivation can happen automatically in most cases. SafeCast does not write to or change the hard disk's Master Boot Record or alter the partition table or other important data.
This technology in no way harms your hard drive or computer. Because we take customer concerns seriously, however, Intuit is already working with Macrovision to explore different solutions for future releases of TurboTax.
Here is a website that gave TurboTax a thorough test. http://www.pctest.com/intuit/index.htm
Again please let me know if you have any other questions.