New Mac OS X Feature Raises Privacy Concern

In its most recent operating system update, Mac OS X 10.4.7, Apple introduced a new feature to its Dashboard application to enable users to verify whether individual mini-programs called Widgets are the same versions as those featured by (and presumably vetted by) Apple itself.

The problem? According to reports, Dashboard Advisory apparently installs a new process which checks in with Apple via the Internet every eight hours. Although the transactions themselves appear to be innocuous and apparently contain no personally identifiable information, the method raises privacy concerns among Mac OS X users: Apple did not inform users of the new “phone-home” function, there’s no simple way for users to turn it off, and