(I’m not the first person to cover this topic, anyway.)
After upgrading my Nokia N900 to the latest software version (PR1.2) I got a “MyNokia” screen after rebooting.
Nokia was kind enough to offer me both subscribing to their MyNokia service by sending Nokia an SMS message and to read the Terms and Conditions of their service (Terms and Conditions that some people consider either incorrect or even illegal).
I assume that in the hurry of getting the PR1.2 release out in time Nokia probably simply forgot to add a “Do not subscribe me” option. But who needs that anyway? It’s hard to imagine why people would not want to use it. You just give Nokia some of your private data and in return you get some cool and totally useful tricks and tips for your N900 that… you had known before already? Nah, come on!
Sending SMS to Nokia costs money as per Terms and Conditions (“Use of the Service may involve transmission of data through your service provider’s network. Your network service provider may charge for such data transmission.”) Also it’s not clear if the message will be sent to an international number or not (different costs).
So I removed the battery to switch off the device. But booting brought up the dialog again. So the available options are “Subscribe” and “Do not use your device”. By subscribing I send them data such as… hmm, what exactly? I cannot find a clear list in the Terms and Conditions. Does Nokia care about my privacy?
After successfully subscribing you receive an SMS welcoming message from Nokia which does not tell you from which exact phone number but there are users that extracted a list.
To unsubscribe I had to send an SMS again to Nokia that I pay for again. So I went to the Settings section and tried to unsubscribe. And failed with a generic error: “Nokia: Attempt to unsubscribe has failed. Go to ‘My Nokia” in Settings to try again. Visit www.nokia.com/mynokia for more information.”
The second sentence told me to try again. So I tried again. And paid again. And failed again. And realized that the UI does not give any indication whether you are currently subscribed or not.
The frustrating user interface could be easily fixed by anybody if the code was open source.
It is not.
Dave pointed out that there is a workaround for this registration. And there are dozens of complaints, also from other series than Maemo, which makes me wonder if Nokia Marketing is actually aware of this.
It was easy to get an answer to my previous question “Does Nokia care about my privacy?”: I simply went to Nokia’s website which states “WE CARE ABOUT YOUR PRIVACY” at the top.
Unfortunately they only offer me a postal address in Finland to find out what that exactly means as I have some open questions left – for example which exact data is stored. In accordance to German law I must be told (§ 6 Abs. 2, § 28 Abs. 4, § 34 Abs. 1-3 BDSG, § 34 Abs. 1, § 43 Abs. 3 BDSG).
IANAL, but that does not sound legal to me.
So if a Nokia Legal person can explain to me how their service and its terms are in accordance to German law (esp. §4 Abs. 3 BDSG) feel encouraged to leave a comment on this blog or send me an email. If this will not happen there are ways to force you to, as already listed here.
PS: Those who find irony in this posting are free to keep it.