updated 8/6/2006 6:42:21 PM ET 2006-08-06T22:42:21

Microsoft's drawing complaints and lawsuits over the way it checks for pirated copies of its Windows operating system.

Eighteen months after announcing the piracy check, Microsoft faces controversy and backlash, including two lawsuits.

(MSNBC.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal News.)

While Microsoft had told users the new software would gather information related to piracy, some people became alarmed when they discovered the software also was performing a daily check-in with the company. Microsoft has since discontinued the daily check and revised its disclosures.

But critics saw the undisclosed communications as a breach of privacy and trust. Microsoft faces two federal lawsuits over the software, both of which accuse the company of violating laws that seek to combat spyware. The lawsuits seek class-action status.

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