If you are concerned about your privacy and its potential invasion by companies seeking to enforce their rights, you should read about the recent changes over at Microsoft. Microsoft now requires you to consent to an inspection of your PC before it will allow you to download product updates or products (critical patches do not appear to be included). This appears to be separate and apart from the scanning they do as part of a visit to WindowsUpdate.com (which presumably now also checks for pirate keys in applications beyond merely Windows). Read the article for more on the nature of the data examined, some of it will surprise you.
Microsoft swears the inspection poses no privacy danger, that your data is anonymous, that they won’t contact you as a result (of having pirated software of theirs), that you will be able to get a discount on the real product if yours is pirated, and that they even give you the free product if you give the details on who sold you the bogus copy. That all sounds reasonable and non-threatening, but whether or not that is entirely the truth is unknown and to some degree unknowable.
In the minds of many this will set a dangerous precedent, one which Trusted Computing will carry even further (though differently).
The Globe and Mail article on this topic:Bill Gates will be frisking you with a simple point and click