Nokia response to MyNokia subscription in PR1.2

2010-06-26 20:05 UTC by Andrew Flegg

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.

Nokia informs the user about this support feature and the cost of the SMS on the cover of the sales box and in the Nokia device user interface through the terms and conditions. Any personal information (including any information in the SMS) needed for the service is dealt with in accordance with Nokia's privacy policy available at

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.

In case you wish to know what personal data we hold about you or you wish to replenish, rectify, anonymize or delete any incomplete, incorrect or outdated personal data, or you wish us to cease processing your personal data for the purpose of sending promotional materials or direct marketing or for the performance of market research or on other compelling legal grounds, you may, as appropriate and in accordance with applicable law, exercise such rights by contacting us through the contact points referred to in Nokia’s privacy policy.

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".


Kid Charles
Karma: 11

I'm in the camp that Nokia should never send unsolicited SMS messages, but I upgraded to PR1.2 and never got any such message. I'm in the U.S., is that why?

2010-06-29 02:05 UTC
Mustali Dalal
Karma: 996

Phew! What a lecture!

Anyway, I didn't really mind the extra SMS. I am surprised how many are discontent with the $1 charge considering that the N900 is a premium device. Almost all carriers here in the US store IMEI information of the owners because the phones are tied to the carrier.

That being said, there should be an Opt-Out option. Its absence is a mistake that Nokia should accept.

2010-06-28 20:14 UTC
Karma: 228

I looked over my sales box. It has a simple white sticker with some bar codes, and basic product identifying information. On the bottom of the box in silver ink on dark gray paperboard, nice choice for contrast, there is the usual boilerplate about network dependant services, keep away from small children, and warranty. Unless it is on a microdot there is ZERO warning that

"Nokia will send at your expense an unencrypted SMS from your device that could expose certain personal data such as the IMEI, IMSI, Network, URL History, Contacts, GPS coordinates and battery level to a third party."

I do not know they sent all that information but isn't that the point? I don't know.

I do not want the Homeland Security people wondering about an SMS to the Federal and Islamic Republic of Comoros or where ever it was sent. Again, I don't know.

2010-06-28 17:30 UTC
Lutz Schwarz
Karma: 265

Since I bought my N900 I can use it as is. A bug fix (this is what PR1.2 is in fact) want me to agree to some extra Nokia rules? This is hard to accept.

2010-06-27 21:12 UTC
Jeff Geisperger
Karma: 12

How about the fact that I now have $1 in "international" text messages as I am in america and it contacted some text service in the EU

2010-06-27 17:30 UTC
Erol Doe
Karma: 6

wtf is wrong with you guys? I simply ignore the 'MyNokia'-service, so why don't you?! stop complaining :) that's just pathetic..

2010-06-27 12:45 UTC
Andrew Flegg
Karma: 3342

@Matan, so you're suggesting we shouldn't ask because we know what the answer is? And do you suggest they don't care about the council; or the users? (Because I see flaws in either argument)

2010-06-27 10:20 UTC
Mugur Enache
Karma: 36

Even if this smell is bad they don't admit this saying you are in a rose field. If they admit the issue, anybody can sue them basing on their words so the only acceptable response from their perspective is denying or saying "this is a great (F)feature" . What you expect? Apologies ?

2010-06-27 09:55 UTC

It seems no on even read the complaint, some dumb head just read few things, categorized the complaint, and sent a typical response back.

2010-06-27 07:57 UTC
Matan Ziv-Av
Karma: 583

Did someone in the council really think that Nokia's response will be different than "We don't care about you, so shut up?"

2010-06-27 05:27 UTC
Misha K.
Karma: 444

Yes, and we all understand as N900 not the phone but mobile computer with phone functions, so why do they decide to get information by sms? it's ilogical, as there is option to send info via internet. and can they add this function to update and say if you don't want you don't have to update? i think sending info can be helpful for developing (the problem that there is no development on n900 lately by Nokia), but as in many other opensource(and not only) projects, you can put it in options or popup window "send some info blah blah blah", even microsoft is doing it like this. and last time microsoft did something without users attention they got sued and lost.

2010-06-27 05:17 UTC
Andrei Dancau
Karma: 18

To be honest I was expecting this kind of attitude from Apple, not Nokia. Oh well. I know how to use my phone, I don't want to pay for some messages informing me of some basic features, so I naturally expect an opt out feature. Getting more and more convinced that my next phone won't be one from Nokia

2010-06-27 00:14 UTC
Pete Foster
Karma: 136

It's not the "Computer Misuse Act" that Nokia need to be concerned with. They need to study the "Data Protection Act".

These are 2 very different acts with very different purposes.

2010-06-27 00:04 UTC
Oskar Welzl
Karma: 962

They should have answered "f*** off" instead. That would have made me less angry than this nonsense. Whoever wrote that: Did they even understand what the whole issue is about? If so: Do they really despise us so much?

2010-06-26 20:52 UTC
Joerg Reisenweber
Karma: 1280

It's amazing how Nokia tries to deal with that by getting their lawyers checking the issue, rather than plainly admitting it's been a massive fail both in concept and implementation.

We are not amused >:-(

2010-06-26 20:22 UTC


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