U3 drives

U3 has a shiny DEMO presentation and some nice things to say about themselves. Lorna bought a cheap 1GB "Geek Squad" USB drive at Best Buy, which didn't indicate in any way that it contained secret software on it.

When you insert this USB card into your PC, with no prompting, it installs the U3 software. There's no documented way to remove it.

A post on digg.com (apparently from a U3 employee) reads as follows:
Unfortunately, at this moment, there is no way to stop the U3 system software from loading on insertion except to completely remove the partition on the drive which houses the system software. To do this, each USB maker is providing a way to remove the system, but you must contact the individual manufacturer of the U3 smart drive since they are the only people who can do this. U3 cannot remove this for you.
Let's do a test with Google's Software Principles, just for kicks:
  • We believe software should not trick you into installing it.

  • When an application is installed or enabled, it should inform you of its principal and significant functions. Nope.

  • It should be easy for you to figure out how to disable or delete an application. Nope.
These guys are really starting to make me upset. I'll have to take apart their stuff and see what it's doing, next. After all, I didn't click through a EULA or anything.

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