homey of my owney writes: "An update offered for Microsoft Office and flagged an important, seeks to help you know if you are using an improperly licensed version of Microsoft Office. That may be helpful for some, but it seems that the provisions to download further updates without permission, that the functionality of the software may be affected, and their intent to collect your Microsoft Office product key, IP address, hard drive serial number, PC manufacturer, and PC BIOS information — might not be what the user was expecting. The full text is below.
NOTICE: THIS SUPPLEMENT UPDATES MICROSOFT OFFICE AND IS DESIGNED TO NOTIFY YOU IF YOU ARE USING AN IMPROPERLY LICENSED COPY OF MICROSOFT OFFICE. SOME UPDATES AND OFFERS FROM MICROSOFT REQUIRE A PROPERLY LICENSED GENUINE COPY OF MICROSOFT OFFICE. INSTALLING THIS SUPPLEMENT IS OPTIONAL. THIS SUPPLEMENT WILL BECOME A PERMANENT PART OF YOUR MICROSOFT OFFICE SOFTWARE. AFTER INSTALLATION, FUTURE UPDATES TO THIS SUPPLEMENT WILL DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL ACCORDING TO YOUR AUTOMATIC UPDATES SETTINGS. INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR SYSTEM (FOR EXAMPLE, YOUR MICROSOFT OFFICE PRODUCT KEY AND IP ADDRESS) WILL BE SENT TO MICROSOFT. MICROSOFT WILL NOT USE THE INFORMATION TO IDENTIFY OR CONTACT YOU. BEFORE INSTALLING, PLEASE READ AND ACCEPT THE LICENSE TERMS BELOW. ____________________________________________________________________________ MICROSOFT SOFTWARE SUPPLEMENTAL LICENSE TERMS MICROSOFT OFFICE GENUINE ADVANTAGE NOTIFICATIONS FOR MICROSOFT OFFICE XP, MICROSOFT OFFICE 2003, AND MICROSOFT OFFICE 2007. Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) licenses this supplement to you. The following license terms describe additional use terms for this supplement. These terms and the license terms for the software (Microsoft Office) apply to your use of this supplement. If there is a conflict, these supplemental license terms apply. BY USING THIS SUPPLEMENT, YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THEM, DO NOT USE THIS SUPPLEMENT. If you comply with these license terms, you have the rights below. 1. Application of Terms. The terms also apply to any Microsoft updates, supplements, Internet-based services, and support services for the software, unless other terms accompany those items. If so, those terms apply. 2. PURPOSE OF SUPPLEMENT. THIS SUPPLEMENT UPDATES MICROSOFT OFFICE AND IS DESIGNED TO NOTIFY YOU IF YOU ARE USING AN IMPROPERLY LICENSED COPY OF MICROSOFT OFFICE XP, MICROSOFT OFFICE 2003, AND/OR MICROSOFT OFFICE 2007. TO EFFECTIVELY ENCOURAGE THE USE OF PROPERLY LICENSED SOFTWARE, MICROSOFT DOES NOT SUPPORT ITS UNINSTALLATION. 3. Validation. This supplement also includes the Office Genuine Advantage validation feature, which will, from time to time, validate the software. Validation verifies that the software has been activated and is properly licensed. Activation associates the use of the software with a specific device. Installation of the validation feature may be required in order to install certain Microsoft software, templates, and updates. Validation also permits you to use certain features of the software or to obtain additional benefits. For more information, see www.microsoft.com/genuine/office/WhyValidate.aspx.
a. To enable the validation checks, this supplement may from time to time require updates or additional downloads of its validation or licensing functions. The updates or downloads are required for the proper functioning of this supplement and may be downloaded and installed without further notice to you. These updates and downloads may be delivered to you through the Microsoft Update service (if you use the service) or through other means. b. During or after a validation check, the software will send information about the software to Microsoft. This information includes, for example, the version of the software, the product key, and IP address. Microsoft does not use the information to identify or contact you. BY USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU CONSENT TO THE TRANSMISSION OF THIS INFORMATION. For more information about validation and what is sent during or after a validation check, see below and http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/PrivacyInfo.aspx. c. If the software is not properly licensed, the functionality of the software may be affected. For example, you may need to reactivate the software, or receive reminders to obtain a properly licensed copy of the software, or you may not be able to obtain certain updates, upgrades, or services from Microsoft. In addition, the software may display a notice that it is not properly licensed. d. You may only obtain updates or upgrades for the software from Microsoft or authorized sources. For more information on obtaining updates from authorized sources, see www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/faq.aspx.
4. Notification. If this supplement detects that you have an improperly licensed copy of Microsoft Office installed, you will receive a notification and periodic reminders to install a properly licensed copy of Microsoft Office. This supplement may also notify you if a more recent Microsoft Office service pack for the software is available. 5. Internet-Based Services. Microsoft provides Internet-based services with this supplement. It may change or cancel them at any time. This supplement connects to Microsoft or service provider computer systems over the Internet as described below. In some cases, you will not receive a separate notice when it connects. For more information about this feature, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=56310. 6. Computer Information. This supplement uses Internet protocols to send to Microsoft computer information, such as your Microsoft Office product key, IP address, hard drive serial number, PC manufacturer, Microsoft Office version, Microsoft Office product ID, PC BIOS information, user locale setting, language version of Microsoft Office, validation result, and whether the installation of this supplement was successful. Certain geographic information derived from your IP address, which Microsoft does not use to identify you, is retained in association with this computer information. 7. Use of Information. We may use the computer information to improve our software and services, help prevent improperly licensed use of the software, and develop aggregate statistics. We may also share the aggregate data with others, such as hardware and software vendors and volume licensees to help protect their license keys. 8. CONSENT FOR INTERNET-BASED SERVICES. BY USING THIS FEATURE, YOU CONSENT TO THE TRANSMISSION AND USE OF THE ABOVE COMPUTER INFORMATION. MICROSOFT DOES NOT USE THE INFORMATION TO IDENTIFY OR CONTACT YOU. 9. Privacy Notice: For additional Information about the computer information transmitted to Microsoft, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=68985 . 10. Support Services for Supplement. Microsoft provides support services for the software as described at www.support.microsoft.com/common/international.aspx ."