Daemon Tools knows what you mounted last summer

You would have hoped that software developers would have taken the Path situation as a cue to adopt a little stricter privacy policy. According to Within Windows, Daemon Tools' anonymous data collection isn't really all that anonymous, and turning it off doesn't really turn it off.

MountSpace is a service that keeps track of the software that people are mounting and running in Daemon Tools. It does this by keeping track of every image you mount, along with information regarding the specific .iso file you used; it even knows if you're a first time user. By sending all of this information home, MountSpace ends up with your IP address, your history and  who knows what else.

Daemon Tools offers you the option of disallowing MountSpace from using your mount statistics at installation, but this doesn't actually stop it from collecting them. As the privacy setting itself says, you're not telling it to stop collecting the information; you're just telling it to not 'allow Mountspace to use [your] mount statistics.' Ideally, these files are deleted immediately, but who knows?

Daemon Tools' privacy policy doesn't exactly make you feel better; its only mention of privacy comes in the form of a disclaimer saying that they aren't liable for any breaches of privacy. Ouch. And MountSpace? Actually, they don't even seem to have a privacy policy, unless you count cryptic paragraphs that don't actually say anything.

Certain (read: many and/or most, cough cough) of the .isos logged on MountSpace don't look like legitimate copies of the software in question (The Sims 3 - Razor1911 MAXSPEED.torrentz.iso doesn't sound like a legitimate file to us). Since they possess the information about these files and where they came from, this could lead to serious legal problems for the owners, if certain entities decided to focus their attention on them.

For everyone else – and, yes, there are plenty of legitimate uses of for Daemon Tools and other .iso mounting software – there's that whole invasion of privacy issue. Even if there are no legal pitfalls involved, the fact that a user's information is being collected without their consent is just wrong on principle. A little more transparency, and a little more respect for users' wishes, would go a long way.

Image courtesy of Within Windows

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

The amazing spray-on antenna

Next Story

Windows 8 Consumer Preview features new Windows logo?

72 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's worth making a mention there's a new version today (.3) - it has an updated EULA which is longer, and now shows the agreements of SPTD & OpenCandy.

Like others, I stopped using DT when Vista came out and it wasn't supported. I switched to VCD and it works great for my MSDN images, so that's all I need.

I remember using Daemon Tools back in the day. It was a program that was great without the all the bloat it has now. There are many better alternatives such as WinCDemu or Virtual Clone Drive. Can't believe it. I think it will be better once Windows 8 comes out because I've heard it will support mounting?

It's a pity since I've not had great luck with the many alternatives out there -- guess I'll have to start looking again.

"... and, yes, there are plenty of legitimate uses of for Daemon Tools and other .iso mounting software - there's that whole invasion of privacy issue."

One example FWIW, Sony's DVDA will only output Blu-Ray ISOs or burn to disc, & Daemon Tools is [or should say was] the easiest way for me to check the results. They not only don't ask nicely, they don't provide any reason I should want to help them out by giving them my info, so don't expect I'll be using their stuff any longer.

I stopped using this application when they started loading ASK.com ####. Virtual CloneDrive for me and have never, ever had an issue.

Data protection my arse - looking at these stats it's obvious that 99% of the daemon tools users are pirates.

What's cool about that is that you can actually locate the torrents by clicking on the link - in that sense MountSpace is actually facilitating piracy.

Also... looks like they just released a new version (4.45.3). Given the timing, I'm wondering if they are responding to this issue. I can't find any change notes. Can anyone verify that the behavior is still the same?

Aaron44126 said,
Also... looks like they just released a new version (4.45.3). Given the timing, I'm wondering if they are responding to this issue. I can't find any change notes. Can anyone verify that the behavior is still the same?

Change log:

Setup changes.
Some bug fixes.

Great, eh?

Extremely glad this feature is build into Mac OS X and I don't have to resort to using third-party solutions.

.Neo said,
Extremely glad this feature is build into Mac OS X and I don't have to resort to using third-party solutions.

Let us know when you can view Adobe Flash files without third party plugins too won't you...

I've only ever used this thing a couple times. Never blew my hair back anyway.

That company probably often wondered why no one caught on to the fact they simply added the "a" in their name so it wasn't really Demon!!

I've never had problems with DT, I've always used the old version for windows 98 whenever I've installed it though, there was no 'paid' version at the time, it runs on all versions of windows and has the old SPTD that doesn't need a reboot before it works (when I checked about 2 years ago, they still offered it as a 'win 98' download).

I don't mind anonymous statistics, that send crash logs or certain features used in a program but i don't see what benefit they get from logging what files you mount. Only thing i can think of is they want to see what image file types are popular maybe? still why do they need the filename. Too shady for me.

FloatingFatMan said,
Did you actually READ the article?

Yes I did. Did you actually READ my comments?
Hence I posted the link to the version that doesn't contain the "traceware". And I have it blocked both in hosts and at firewall.

Beyond Godlike said,
Absolutely love the article title lmao

i just re-read the topic and then thinking 'like that' i started laughing a bit

Well while it's frowned upon with them adding that in... AT LEAST they make a clear popup there asking you first as if it just did that without warning i suspect they would catch hell for it.

i installed a update not long ago an i am pretty sure i opted out of that crap.

for those who are not sure... i believe you can opt out by going to PREFERENCES > MEDIA INFO > then... UNCHECK the "Send anonymous usage statistics" box

but i might consider the 'Virtual CloneDrive' software from Slysoft as i used to use their CloneCD back in the day in the 'Safe Disc v2' days as it was quality software ... but anyways, i might try it as it looks like it's more direct and to the point with less stuff in it as i don't think i need anything specific to Daemon Tools Lite like the emulation of certain protections.

Edited by ThaCrip, Feb 13 2012, 6:22am :

reply to myself... i was just attempting to use Virtual CloneDrive and while i 'would' have probably liked it as it's simpler and straight to the point vs Daemon Tools Lite i have one thing that pretty much requires i keep Daemon Tools which is a image file i made from my original disc of Hitman Blood Money a while back using Alcohol120% program and the asr.exe (basically a small program that emulates SecuROM tech) which to sum it up the game won't start when using Virtual CloneDrive where as it will start when i use Daemon Tools Lite it will load up without complaining about putting in original disc. granted i could probably get a crack for the game but with the way i have it setup now i can install any of the latest patches and it will continue to work since it's emulating the SecuROM copy protection unlike a crack which needs a new crack everytime a patch is released. granted, the game is from 2006 so i doubt they will be releasing any patches so i could crack it if i wanted to but all in all ill probably just stick with Daemon Tools Lite as my image mounter of choice but for those who more or less just need to mount a image for general use i gave a feeling Virtual CloneDrive is probably the overall best option as it's basic and gets to the point.

Just use the free Alcohol 52%. You can still use ACID to cloak the drive. I used this up until getting a freebie copy of DT last year.

Alcohol Free Edition is awesome, but what I like about DT is that it supports CD audio tracks in disc images. So old games that used CD audio will have their music when mounted in DT, but not in Alcohol.

Well I uninstalled it today. I am switching to WinCDEmu. I rarely need to mount an ISO anyway, but its normally things that I download from Technet/MSDN and regardless of the ISO name I told the software not to record what I open and it's doing it anyway???? No thanks. I won't be back!

I've not used Daemontools lately, I install it just for the ease.. guess I'll switch to something else.. but... couldn't you just block the outgoing connections?

What I'm still waiting on is emulated burning ;\ it's nice to read from a iso, but to build an iso with emulated burning is something I would love someday.. (and making an iso image via save to iso, or mkisofs isn't the same, especially if you need to test emulation and such)

i'm shocked to hear that anyone actually uses this bloated pack of annoyance anymore... last time maybe back in 2006, before Vista

wow what happen to Daemon Tools. Back in the day it was a great piece of software. well lucky i have not used there software for about 2-3 years.

billyea said,

While this program was initially appealing to me, the idea of turning off driver verification is a big no no.

You no longer need to turn off driver verification for it. That was solved a long time ago.

billyea said,

While this program was initially appealing to me, the idea of turning off driver verification is a big no no.

Last time i remember that being necessary was when Vista was in Beta.

Did this only roll out in a recent update?

I dont recall seeing any settings or details about Mount SPace during the install or setup?

brent3000 said,
Did this only roll out in a recent update?

I dont recall seeing any settings or details about Mount SPace during the install or setup?


Yeah, it's only the new version that's just come out. I haven't checked for updates yet, and now I won't for a bit longer!

What I find interesting is their page and software started smelling fishy to me years ago. There were signs there just by looking at their history and page and even the installs. It's like ok, you get ASKED if you want the software to log what you mount with it...

This isn't like Office asking for anonymous collected stats to help with crashes etc. This is something that says flat out "Hey, can we track the crap you don't feel like burning" and the fact it is used in a good deal of circumstances for illegal software, movies etc.

I just say it sort of added up to this before now. It is like people getting astonished that someone you are avoiding shows up where you are after posting your location to foursquare.

Yeah I noticed this last time I installed it. Looks like I'll be removing it, especially after I found out they're drivers aren't the best. Driver Verifier really doesn't like DT. haha

Whoa. So glad I haven't upgraded yet!

It's also worth noting: You can go to the mountspace.com website, click a title (such as Sims 3), and on the left side as the Author points out, is a list of file names.
Clicking one of them leads to a search page showing the source of these files...

Encouraging piracy? Maybe, maybe not... But sites have been sued for less. I can't see this lasting long.

Now that's really shady.

Shame on you, DT! I thought better of you.

Stripe that sh** or I'll check for other mounting tools for my Windows needs.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,
Now that's really shady.

Shame on you, DT! I thought better of you.

Stripe that sh** or I'll check for other mounting tools for my Windows needs.

GS:mac

Alcohol 52% free is what I use 6 virtual drives maximum.

leesmithg said,

Alcohol 52% free is what I use 6 virtual drives maximum.

I never liked DT and I've been using Alcohol 52% Free for a very long time. It work great, you don't need to configure nothing, just associate the image file types and use the shell extension to mount/unmount anything.

KSib said,
There's always Virtual Clone Drive. I love SlySoft's products

+1 I have a license to all SlySoft's stuff. Well, except Virtual CloneDrive (cause it's free )

Though I am exicted to be able to just do this natively in Windows 8

rev23dev said,

+1 I have a license to all SlySoft's stuff. Well, except Virtual CloneDrive (cause it's free )

Though I am exicted to be able to just do this natively in Windows 8

Thanks for the tip. Never heard of Virtual Clone Drive but have used a few other Slysoft products before. I guess its goodbye Daemon Tools.

http://www.slysoft.com/en/download.html - for anyone wanting to download Virtual Clone Drive

KSib said,
There's always Virtual Clone Drive. I love SlySoft's products

Stuck with VCD after Daemon Tools dragged their feet at supporting the Windows 7 beta. Only advantage Daemon Tools has is emulating protection schemes, if any.

Salty Wagyu said,

Last time I tried VCD it couldn't mount Alcohol images. Can it now?

Nope, there are still a few file types that virtual Clone Drive cannot mount