United Airlines: Free Means Install Our DRM
Part of their in-flight “free” entertainment package, United requests the user install DRM in order to view a movie on their laptop. In a previous generation of flight service, the passenger wouldn’t even require a laptop to watch a movie.
Entrepreneur Brian Fitzpatrick found the ransom pop-up much to his dismay, and by all indications declined to install a patch to his browser for the sole benefit of a single flight. Instead, he took to Twitter, saying:
The security-minded will have already reached the logical conclusion: Fitzpatrick could be the exception. Many users might gladly install the extension to watch the video, and never uninstall it.
There’s no telling how secure such an extension is; its popularity is not predicated on competition, but rather on how strong the user’s desire to watch the movie is or isn’t. The company’s system also reminds a wise user, who may have removed Flash in the wake of the recent Hacking Team dump and its disclosures, that he has no Flash, and offers to install it for the user.
What do you think? Is United Airlines overstepping its bounds? Would you install the plugin? Comment below.