I recently received a comment regarding XboxFriends that goes as follows:
So do you store the Passport info so you can keep signing in every time Passport logs you out? And doesn't your program communicate through your server? Why should I trust you with my Passport info?
Let me answer the questions directly and then I can transition into why I named the entry as I did. No, “I'm” not storing the Passport information, the application is storing it in the local configuration file in an encrypted format. Yes, the application does communicate through XboxFriends.com in order to share information among your group of friends and allow for a web-based view into some of the information (profile). Why should you trust me with your Passport info? Now it's time to transition...
“Why should I trust you with your Passport info?”
Trust. Hmmm, how do I even approach answering this question? I could go into a laundry list of reasons why “I” think you could trust me. I could explain the fact that XboxFriends has been used by over 7,000 people up to this point and those people didn't have issues of trust. I understand the fact that in the world we live today that there is a certain level of distrust in regards to anything that you install upon your machine. Essentially though, you've come to trust Xbox.com, Passport.com, Msn.com with your Passport information. Yes, all of these are Microsoft, so you might be asking what my point is. Well, let me bring up another example.
How about products like Cerulean Studios Trillian? Now I'm not comparing Trillian 3.1 (current version) with XboxFriends, but how about Trillian 1.0? At some point, some people decided to “trust” this unknown company with not only their Passport information, but Yahoo, AOL, ICQ and IRC account information. How did they come to do so? Well, in the beginning, I'm sure some of them took a chance. After those adventurous few did so, then word of mouth did the rest. If there were no problems, then no red flags were being raised across the internet wire. Then, if you are of the paranoid sort, you could ask your friends if they've used such a product. If not, then you could search across forums and such to see if anyone says anything.
In the end, trust is a very funny thing. No matter what I say, I can't force you to trust me. If you think I'm a nefarious sort of fellow, then by all means, it's not as if I'm forcing you to download, install and type in your information so don't do so. If, after reading through this entry (and for that matter the rest of the entries on this site), or do your research and see that XboxFriends has been around since the end of 2004 and this site has been up and running 2003, you might realize that I'm in this for the long haul. And as such, think about it, why would I do something as stupid as try to “steal” peoples Passport accounts? If you really think that I'm that stupid, by all means, don't download and install XboxFriends. It's a question of rather you believe that I'm being honest and open enough in regards to what the application does. I think I've done so and have taken the time to answer questions accordingly.
Again, trust is a funny thing. Speaking of trust, what I find interesting is that the responses (it appears that this person responded twice) is basically anonymous. Something about that just seems amusing to me.