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Phone Home

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Phone Home

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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Phoning home is usually surreptitious communication between applications or hardware installed at end-user sites and their manufacturers or developers. This could be for purposes of access control, such as transmitting an authorisation key. It could also be for marketing purposes, such as the "Sony Rootkit", which transmits a hash of the currently playing CD back to Sony, or a digital video recorder (DVR) reporting on viewing habits.

The traffic could be encrypted, so that the end-user doesn't know what data is being transmitted.

In one sense, every time you visit a web page or any other kind of remote server it is "phoning home" since the IP address of your own computer is sent to the web server (an unavoidable process if a reply is required). The use of graphics on a web page establishes further connections, possibly to different sites, which can also be used for tracking, as in the case of "web beacons". Some other file types can do the same kind of (essentially anonymous) tracking by setting up a connection which is intended to be logged, e.g. PDF though in the latest version of Adobe Reader the user is notified [1]

The phrase probably originates from the 1982 film "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

See also

References

  1. http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/332208.html "Phone home" notification enhancements, meaning that when a PDF document attempts to contact an external server for any reason, the end user will be notified via a dialogue box that the author of the file is auditing usage of the file, and be offered the option of continuing."

External links


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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

 
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