New iTunes Privacy Issue Leads to “Spytunes” Nickname
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The newest version of iTunes comes complete with its own privacy issues. In fact, some people find the invasion of privacy by the iTunes 6.02 “MiniStore” service, so bad that they have nicknamed it “Spytunes.”

The problem all started with the new iTunes “MiniStore.” When you are listening to a tune with iTunes, the MiniStore suggests other tunes from the iTunes stores that it thinks you might like, and offers you a link to purchase the song on the spot.


The problem is in how it makes those suggestions. You see, in order for this remote service to make its recommendation and retrieve a link to the recommended song, it needs to know what song you are listening to. This is done by the iTunes MiniStore service reporting back to the MiniStore mothership the name of the song you are listening to, which song is stored on your computer. Not only does it report back what song you have on your computer, but it also reports back a unique i.d. for your computer, and your iTunes account information.

So, for example, it wouldn’t just report back that I am listening to Sapphire’s “Middle-Aged Blues” (a great song, by the way, highly recommended), but it would report back that “Anne is listening to a copy of ‘Middle-Aged Blues’ on her iMac, and her iTunes account number is 1234567890.”

Do you see a problem with that?

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Lots of people do, in large part because Apple never disclosed that it was doing this. And the MiniStore is turned on by default.

According to the iTunes support site, “iTunes sends data about the song selected in your library to the iTunes Music Store to provide relevant recommendations.”

Adds Apple, “Apple does not save or store any information used to create recommendations for the MiniStore.”

 

But that’s hardly the point, is it?

Since the cry of outrage from the public, however, Apple has changed how iTunes 6.02 installs. The MiniStore is still turned on by default, but a warning now explains how to turn it off.

So, will you keep the MiniStore on? Or turn it off?

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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