An independent test of product activation technology in Intuit Inc.'s (NASDAQ: INTU) TurboTax® desktop software products, released today, confirms the technology does not negatively impact computer performance or compromise customer privacy. The findings of the tests, performed by PCTest Corporation, an independent software-testing lab can be found at http://www.pctest.com/intuit/index.htm
Intuit commissioned the independent testing to provide more data in response to customer questions and to address misinformation about how product activation works. The data validates specific facts about the technology:
- Product activation does not send any personal information to Intuit.
- It does not monitor computer activities.
- Only files and registry entries relating to TurboTax and SafeCast are installed.
- It does not disable a user's CD-RW/CD-ROM drive.
- SafeCast uses only a small amount of RAM (less than 1MB), resulting in no appreciable deterioration in PC performance
- Tax data can be accessed if someone changes computers or hard disks
Intuit has committed to improving product activation for next year. "We're looking at a number of things but I can say with certainty that next year, we will implement product activation that has no memory-resident component when TurboTax isn't in use and that completely uninstalls when TurboTax is uninstalled," said Tom Allanson, senior vice president of Intuit's Consumer Tax Division. "This is our first year out of the gate and we've learned a lot. Most important, our customers have provided valuable feedback that we're already using to improve the customer experience this year and for coming years."
Allanson noted that more than 3.5 million customers have successfully activated TurboTax already. "For the majority of our customers - 98% activate via Internet or automated phone system without needing to speak to a support representative - activation is a non-issue."
"Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is here to stay," said Mark Bohannon, General Counsel & SVP Public Policy for the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association of the software code and information content industry. "The reality is that it is an important tool to stem the tide of piracy of developers' products and assures users that they are getting the real McCoy for their money. The market for these tools continues to develop and expand, and we will be seeing more companies offering products that adopt user-friendly, streamlined DRM solutions that promote confidence and combat piracy."