The Maemo Community Council raised with Nokia the issue that upgrading to Maemo 5 PR1.2 forces the user to subscribe, via SMS, to the “MyNokia” service. The user has no ability to opt-out: it’s either subscribe or don’t use the device.
Nokia have, to their credit, engaged in the bug report about this, #10366, and have also sent us an official response:
“Nokia Corporation respects applicable laws and regulations and has carefully reviewed the content in your mail. The latest Nokia devices are no longer traditional mobile phones. Instead they are mobile computers that include sophisticated services such as messaging, games, as well as capability to access online services, download applications, take pictures and video as well as to process text. Such devices should be seen more as portable computers with phone functionality rather than traditional mobile phones mainly capable making a phone call. N900 belongs to this category of mobile computers.
The first use of the latest software for Nokia mobile computers include functionality preparing the device for the service use on behalf of the consumer. In this connection Nokia also provides the consumer with the possibility to receive support messages to assist the consumer get the most out of the purchased Nokia mobile computer. These messages include tips on the capabilities and features of the Nokia devices and available services and features. We believe that these support messages are for the benefit of the consumer and help those consumers who are not yet fully aware of the possibilities their devices offer to make the most out of their purchase.
We have not found any grounds to assume that the My Nokia service would in any way breach the UK Computer Misuse Act, which is ‘An Act to make provision for securing computer material against unauthorised access or modification; and for connected purposes’. Please provide further information if you feel a more detailed analysis is needed.
Obviously, there’s a lot of disappointment in this response; although – to be fair – Quim Gil is going to raise the issue of a missing opt-out function through the Fremantle programme.
The community has investigated several ways of trying to avoid the issue, with the most promising being Graham Cobb‘s notmynokia. This tool, in Extras-devel, can be installed on a PR1.1 device before reflashing, or in-place upgrade, to PR1.2 and will trick the system into thinking you’ve already accepted the service.
The council recommends that anyone who does not want to send their personal information to Nokia investigate this tool. More background is also available on the wiki page, “PR1.2 compulsory MyNokia subscription“.