Parallels Desktop 9 – Some Privacy Issues Perhaps? [UPDATED]
I’ve been a long time user of Parallels Desktop and their latest version got a very positive review from me recently. But in the last few days, I tripped over something that really, really bothers me.
For starters, I noted that inside my virtual machines it will automatically mount my iCloud folder as a network share. The only thing is that I didn’t tell it to do that. Nor did I ever hand over my Apple ID to allow it to do that. I also noted that it does the same thing with my DropBox account. That kinds of concerns me as they clearly have some sort of method to get these user IDs and passwords. But what concerns me more is the fact that there’s an option in Preferences and Advanced that allows the software to collect information about your computer and its software and periodically send this data back to the company under the guise of helping “to improve Parallels products and services.” It was on by default. That’s a fail as I truly believe that this should be an opt-in option rather than an opt-out option.
I would really like Parallels to explain why they think that the above is a good idea. In my mind, it won’t stop me from using the software, but it will influence me as to whether I get Parallels Desktop 10 or not.
So Parallels, if you want to explain this to me, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail.
UPDATE: Someone e-mailed me to ask me to show what I was talking about. So here we go. This is a picture of the “Customer Experience Program” option which sends info on your computer and software by default. You can get to it by going to Preferences and Advanced:
This is what should be an opt-in option rather than being an opt-out option. Now here’s what Computer looks like in my Windows 7 virtual machine:
You’ll notice on the left hand side that Dropbox as well as my iCloud stuff is clearly available. Not only that, it’s also listed as a network location. Though it never asked me if I wanted to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the feature, I just want to be asked first. I also would be interested to know how they pulled that off.