A feature in the Microsoft Windows XP operating system could potentially send sensitive personal information to the software company, according to a government warning.
The feature, called Error Reporting, sends data on program crashes and debugging operations back to Microsoft in order to help detect and fix bugs in the software. As part of the operation, the utility takes a snapshot of the portion of the PC''s memory where a program was running when it crashed. Included in that snapshot is a copy of whatever document or file the user was working on at the time of the crash, according to an advisory issued by the Department of Energy''s Computer Incident Advisory Capability office.
In order to disable Error Reporting in XP and IE 6 on Windows 2000, administrators must edit the registry script, and the operation must be done for each individual user on the system. It can be disabled in IE 5.x by using the ADD/Remove Programs feature in the Windows Control Panel.
For detailed instructions on removing the utility, see www.ciac.org.
In Windows XP this can be disabled using the following: Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System > Advanced > Error Reporting.
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