No, Louis is right.
PrivateProfileString is for reading and writing to an INI file and has been there for a very long time.
Around or just after XP (can't recall when), this clause shows what Microsoft did next...
The system maps most .ini file references to the registry, using the mapping defined under the following registry
In practice, I found that writing to the INI file caused Windows to create a copy in 'the registry' (pretty sure its 'a registry') , but roaming profiles and the wish of Microsoft to protect 'the real registry' seems to cause copies to appear in user level settings area..
I've seen systems where it was a maze trying to guess where Windows was actually holding one or more copies of the setting.
(why ? trying to delete settings without having access to a program's original source code)
This mapping is likely if an application modifies system-component initialization files, such as Control.ini, System.ini, and Winfile.ini. In these cases, the function retrieves information from the registry, not from the initialization file; the change in the storage location has no effect on the function's behavior.
How does one obfuscate configuration settings in OSX?
You could encodebase64 as a simplistic method