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iTunes 6.0.2 is NOT spying on you.

#1
Link

I am not sure they disclose this in their end user license agreement, but apparently ITunes is sending information back to Apple servers when you are using ITunes.

This raises privacy concerns. As per the article, it's sending back information on your habits, and then sending specific advertising back to your ITunes based on the info it has stolen and crunched.

While not the first application to do this, I thought it odd coming from Apple.

Originally caught it on Slashdot's RSS feed.
 

Grandmaster

Electronica Addict
Political User
#3
Re: Itunes = Malware

Is there a way to turn that off? I haven't used iTunes for over a year now, but I've been thinking about going back because a third party app that I use to put music on my iPod corrupted the directory structure on the iPod...which caused problems with playback.
 
#4
Re: Itunes = Malware

I don't know if there is a way to turn it off. Will try to find out - I would imagine it's hard coded - still trying to find out where in the ITunes license agreement where it says they are doing this....

Read it.... http://www.apple.com/legal/sla/itunes.html

Doesn't say anything about agreeing to sending stats, receiving targeted advertising....

mmmm... Sony like.
 
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SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#6
Re: Itunes = Malware

HOORAY FOR PARANOIA! Just close the mini store.

No "information" is sent to apple, they just use the artist from the current track you are listening to in order to display recommendations in the mini store window at the bottom of iTunes... how the hell else are they supposed to display related tracks? It's not privacy invasion, it's not stealing data, it's nothing to be worried about.

I'll say it again for the foil hat wearers Just close the mini store.



p.s. link in the first post seems to be bork for me... ?
 
#7
Re: Itunes = Malware

SPeedY_B said:
HOORAY FOR PARANOIA! Just close the mini store.

No "information" is sent to apple, they just use the artist from the current track you are listening to in order to display recommendations in the mini store window at the bottom of iTunes... how the hell else are they supposed to display related tracks? It's not privacy invasion, it's not stealing data, it's nothing to be worried about.

I'll say it again for the foil hat wearers Just close the mini store.



p.s. link in the first post seems to be bork for me... ?
I agree with Dave. It's just another mountain-out-of-molehill case.

Same sort of ridiculous paranoia as the people who complained about Google invading their privacy by displaying contextual ads in Gmail, or the people who run around recommending Windows "anti-spy" apps so that it doesn't send your oh-so-private information to big, evil corporations like M$. Suits Slashdot to make a noise about it though. I'm not surprised.
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#9
Re: Itunes = Malware

It's not just Slashdot though, Kunal. The item appeared in many of the RSS feeds/sites I'm subscribed to over in Bloglines.

I concur with the mountain/molehill though. The internets are getting far too paranoid for my liking these days :)
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#10
Re: Itunes = Malware

Quick update:
I have just received confirmation from Apple directly (from a confirmed source I trust implicitly) that absolutely no information is being collected from the MiniStore. Therefore, the following article is now simply a hint about an obvious feature (disabling the MiniStore), which I wouldn't typically run. However, in the interest of not rewriting history to avoid my mistakes, I have not changed any of the original text, though I did change the hint's title, and move the rest of the story 'below the break.'

So I'll apologize for jumping to conclusions, but not for helping bring the issue to light. And thanks to Apple for clarifying that no data is collected; you didn't have to contact me directly, yet you did, and I appreciate that.

-rob.
It's also been confirmed that if you just close the mini store, no data is transmitted at all:
Kirk McElhearn used tcpdump to verify that if you simply disable the mini store (Edit: Hide Ministore, or just Shift-Command-M), then no data is transmitted.
That about settles it methinks?
 

j79zlr

Glaanies script monkey
Political User
#12
Re: Itunes = Malware

I too think that the reaction to some of this stuff is too knee jerk, but why are these things never opt-in, alway opt-out. Advertise the feature, if users want it, they can enable it.
 
#13
Re: Itunes = Malware

Another thing to note is that the feature is clearly mentioned on the site when you do to download it.

Discover New Music New in iTunes 6.

Looking for some new tunes? Tap into the 2-million-song treasure chest of the iTunes Music Store through the new MiniStore. While you’re browsing your own library or importing a new CD, MiniStore appears at the bottom of the iTunes window and shows you other albums from your favorite artists and artists like them. You can even see reviews of these albums plus what other listeners who like this artist purchased — so you’ll never be at a loss for new music to discover. When you’re ready to go back to full-screen mode, click an icon and MiniStore tucks away, ready to pop up again later when you want to explore some more.
It should be clear to anyone that some information about the songs that you're listening to has to be sent to the iTunes servers in order for it to identify similar tracks in the iTMS library. There's no other way to do it. It might not be in the EULA, but it's definitely not something they're trying to hide either. It's right on the site, prominently displayed as one of the new features. Can't compare it to what Sony did. I don't remember Sony mentioning rootkits anywhere on its site. :D
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#14
Re: Itunes = Malware

There is a rather large button at the bottom right of iTunes which will let you close the ministore... I did this as soon as I downloaded and installed it, simply because I don't use the store.

I think it's quite a nice feature if you do use the store though, you can obtain information on artists similar to those you already like. A nice way to discover new music.
 
#16
Re: Itunes = Malware

Shuffle_db is the greatest thing ever. I thought iTunes was slow and bloated anyway. As to being malware, the IT guys where I work agree. They uninstalled iTunes every time I installed it, so I was forced to find this better (and MUCH faster) way to load my iPod.
 
#17
Re: Itunes = Malware

j79zlr said:
I too think that the reaction to some of this stuff is too knee jerk, but why are these things never opt-in, alway opt-out. Advertise the feature, if users want it, they can enable it.
I'm guessing that's because they figure most will NOT opt-in, and the assumption that if user's wanted it, they may not be capable of easily selecting the option.

Anyway, as Speedy already intoned, here's the word from Apple...

Macworld story

No company, even one I admire as much as Apple (I did spend nearly five years of my life working there), should start transmitting personal data over the Internet without my explicit permission and a clear explanation of how it’s being used. In addition, if a company is collecting this information, I have a right to know exactly what’s being collected, and what the company plans on doing with my personal information.

The good news is, Apple tells us that the information is not actually being collected. The data sent is used to update the MiniStore and then discarded. If you think about it, this makes sense—imagine the size of the data files they would accumulate with millions of users and what must be hundreds of millions of songs played each day. But Apple should tell us as much, so that we can all relax a bit about sharing our listening habits with Apple.
 
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