^^^ Well I was mostly being facetious with the PTR comment -- I seriously doubt you'll find any serious online player who hasn't just registered at PTR but visits it frequently. I was needling you is all.
We've had numerous threads on this subject and one just recently where I posted a lengthy post with the terms of FT and Stars on PTR, where we were discussing the unofficial position of Stars not actually enforcing the ban. I also noted that DTB was concerned enough to remove their coaches' results links to PTR, and replace them with graph images, after it was pointed out to Hunter Bick that Stars actually still includes PTR in their "always prohibited" list. Hunter had been under the impression that it Stars only prohibited it while playing. Them having at least one Team PokerStars
Pro on staff as a coach kinda makes that awkward, lol.
In a nutshell, at FT it's prohibited while playing. At Stars, despite their unofficial stance of not enforcing it, it's still
on their full-time prohibited list, as in, you can never go there period. Ever. Even while not playing.
Obviously people are using it, and while I've heard of FT even recently warning people they catch using it while playing, I haven't heard Stars doing so. It was a big privacy hubbub from some Euro companies with very strict privacy laws that caused the initial concerns, where Stars agreed that they won't enforce it -- yet they still haven't removed it from their prohibited software list.
It kinda goes back the HH thing -- all sites forbid the buying & selling of HH's. You're only supposed to have HH's that you yourself have captured from your own games. But while detected PTR is pretty trivial if they want to enforce that, there's really no way for them to detect your acquisition of HH's not your own, other than by trawling online forums and identifying people that admit to it. Or leave them laying around their hard drive in the "C:\Datamined Hands\Hands I Have Purchased" folder, lol.