spyware

andrew points me to a website that tries to define what spyware is and how an app should act nicely when it still wants to collect user information. if such a specification is ready, it will be a good chance to implement it in a java library, say, the PoliteFeedback library. this will be very useful for software makers that develop non-networking-specific applications.

inside there, the communication codes use doPrivilege to call socket methods so the caller won't need a SocketPermission. on the other hand, a new permission type -- PoliteFeedbackPermission -- is defined, that must be granted in order to send the feedback to the vendor. the permission will have some arguments to precisely define how the feedback can be performed.

so now the software publisher can request this permission in their installer. users will be happy to see that the only network communication the app will perform is polite feedback. the user can further config the feedback type (for example, data must be shown to the user before sent) or completely deny any feedback.

auto-update can also be included in the library, which means the same consortium should also define what a polite auto-update should behave.

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