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View Full Version : iTune's Monitoring Use and Reporting Back to Apple Story




law guy
Jan 14, 2006, 09:54 PM
Just say this story on PCmag re: iTunes monitoring use and sending the info back to Apple:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1910646,00.asp

"We found that iTunes sends packets to destinations on Apple's domain as well as Akamai's domain as soon as a song is selected for play."

"Apple Responds
Apple has since commented on this issue saying that any personal information it collects from iTunes users is being discarded and no data is being stored. We could not verify this at press time and also could not confirm exactly what information is passed to Apple, since communications are encrypted.

However, Apple is walking a very thin line between providing additional services to customers and invading its customer's privacy. Everyone should weigh for themselves the consequences of allowing Apple or any other media provider to invade their privacy for commercial benefit."

Still, a bit disturbing and Microsoft-ish of Apple.:(

UPDATE: another write-up from CNET News: http://news.com.com/Apples+iTunes+raises+privacy+concerns/2100-1029_3-6026542.html



drater
Jan 14, 2006, 09:58 PM
i'm not so worried about apple as i am with president bush ((the patriot act))...this crap happens everyday...just nobody does anything about it.

law guy
Jan 14, 2006, 10:05 PM
i'm not so worried about apple as i am with president bush ((the patriot act))...this crap happens everyday...just nobody does anything about it.

Hmm. Perhaps iTunes is reporting back to the NSA. True - shopping discount cards to track what you buy, or the old "can I have you're telephone number?" tracking at BestBuy, Tivo knows what I watch, my color laser printer puts an imbedded code in a yellow hue (if I recall the Washington Post story correctly) so folks can track me down from a print out, etc., etc., Of course iTunes would track what you buy, but I am surprised that apple has gone with getting data on use off a user's machine. It creates unease - what info is being sent back with the system config for software update, etc.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 14, 2006, 10:25 PM
Internet and web based "data collection" makes sense for retailers/resellers. The problem is that we are not told up front about it.

How does this differ from some reports about people putting orders on hold at the Apple Store online, only to get a follow up call with a better offer?

MacFan25863
Jan 14, 2006, 10:25 PM
Microsoft sends back a ton of information for Product Activation (hardware information and such), and the privacy police haven't made much of a deal over it. I think we should wait until someone cracks the encryption to see what the contents are...

grapes911
Jan 14, 2006, 10:28 PM
I just opened iTunes and played songs. My firewall sees nothing trying to connect to any site. Anyone else try?

Edit: I think you need the mini store open for data to be sent, which makes senses. If it's closed, it doesn't seem like any data goes to apple.

law guy
Jan 14, 2006, 10:36 PM
The problem is that we are not told up front about it.


Agree - notice is critical. At least then you know someone is monitoring.

How does this differ from some reports about people putting orders on hold at the Apple Store online, only to get a follow up call with a better offer?

In that case, didn't you have to enter a full order - with the contact info - which was sent to Apple? If that's correct, I would distinguish b/c the user knew that the order info was being communicated, albeit with a hold status, to Apple. Sort of like calling a car dealer and getting a quote but not wanting to buy that day, and so they work to entice you, but you are aware of how they know of your interest.

Chip NoVaMac
Jan 14, 2006, 11:01 PM
In that case, didn't you have to enter a full order - with the contact info - which was sent to Apple? If that's correct, I would distinguish b/c the user knew that the order info was being communicated, albeit with a hold status, to Apple. Sort of like calling a car dealer and getting a quote but not wanting to buy that day, and so they work to entice you, but you are aware of how they know of your interest.

But with iTunes, many of us provided information to make it possible to purchase songs. So the difference is not that great.....

law guy
Jan 14, 2006, 11:26 PM
But with iTunes, many of us provided information to make it possible to purchase songs. So the difference is not that great.....

I see the difference as the info was sent to apple to purchase the songs - existing .mac account info for example. But in either that case or in the configuring and putting the system on hold, Apple wasn't data mining off our computers with spyware type information gathering. That is, in both the cases of sending apple payment / account set up info or configuring an order, the user was knowingly sending information to apple. Here, Apple appears to have invited itself in unknown to the user and is taking information off machines that the user is not sending to apple. Back to your informing up front point - if that were the case, the user could decide if they were okay with it or not and if not choose to buy CDs with cash at the local music store (if there still is one).