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Authored by: darken9999 on Jan 11, '06 07:50:53AM

While I agree that there should probably be some sort of disclaimer that data is being sent, there's no need to make wild accusations.

Who's to say that they're collecting anything? Chances are that it's just sending the artist and album name to iTMS to get a specialized page. But even if they were collecting data, I can't imagine how that information could be misused.



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Authored by: atakacs on Jan 11, '06 07:56:14AM
Agreed. This does nothing more than what clicking the arrow links from the library does. I'd be surprised if they even stored the information, I'd bet its just a quick session to get a match against whats going on.

Also the submitter seems to be slightly wrong.

The mini-store does NOT update as you listen. It ONLY updates what you have highlighted. Test this if you don't believe me, but if you start playing the last song in an album with a double-click, let it flow to the next song, the mini store will NOT UPDATE until you change your selection with the mouse.

I haven't looked at any tcpdumps, I don't have my mac here with me, but can someone compare what is being sent with the ministore vs the Library arrow links that have existed for a long while? I assume they are either identical or extremely similar

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Authored by: darken9999 on Jan 11, '06 07:58:52AM

The submitter is Rob, which makes me really want to choose my words carefully. :^)



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Authored by: robg on Jan 11, '06 08:23:52AM

They're transmitting a piece of data from my machine to their servers, without my knowledge or permission. At this point, whether they're collecting it or not, that's enough to reallly make me angry.

I agree, they're probably not collecting it, and perhaps I should have used a different term. But they could be collecting it ... and what if that data included your music store ID? Now they not only know what you're listening to, but exactly who you are...

-rob.



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Authored by: Gerk on Jan 11, '06 10:21:05AM
hey rob

I disagree, they ARE collecting it. Whether or not they are tying the data to you directly is another story altogether, but there is a ping sent, along with the transaction id of the search to a server called metrics.apple.com ... if that's not to collect data I don't know what is!

I put that info in my article at macdiscussion.com ... it doesn't have a big break down, just wanted to get the info out there to users to disable the mini store unless you have a specific need for it.

Nothing more detailed to give you on it (the ping is embedded in the XML file) and happens between apple's servers, but it hold the unique ID for your search without a doubt ... given that they can choose to (or not to) tie it back to whatever data they happen to collect ... eek!

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Authored by: atakacs on Jan 11, '06 11:27:24AM
Wait, if they included your music store ID, wouldn't they already know what you listen to based on your purchases?

I'm confused what are we worried about again?

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Authored by: pub3abn on Jan 11, '06 12:21:47PM

Your comment assumes you buy all your music from iTMS. Not everyone does.



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Authored by: lrosenstein on Jan 12, '06 10:52:47AM

The mini-store request does send what looks like an iTMS id. Search for X-Dsid in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iTunes.plist file. I have 2 machines authorized on the same iTMS account and they both have the same id, so it's not just a random number that is made up.

From what I've read, the information is actually sent to a 3rd party Apple has contracted with, so even if you were inclined to trust Apple with not retaining the information, it's not clear that should extend to another company.

Finally, it's not much of a stretch to contemplate the RIAA trying to subpoena this information because it would show what songs you have ripped to your computer, and they could compare that to music you have purchased.



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Authored by: drewk on Jan 11, '06 09:51:36AM

I beleive that Rob stated that there was a need for a published privacy policy by Apple covering this information. I think this is completely appropriate and prudent. *I* want control of the data on my computer, not others.



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Here's how it could be misused
Authored by: osxpounder on Jan 12, '06 11:15:19PM

A parent with a spotless reputation allows younger family member to use her Mac. That person downloads a song with a name like "Let's Get Butt Naked and F___" from some illegal source.

Parent later opens iTunes and finds recommendations for songs that offend her -- or perhaps cause trouble for the young user involved. Thus, 2 people might have a grievance against the iTMS for leaving traces of what young user was listening to.

Coincidentally, said parent is running for city council, and opposition or local journalist wardrives her home and finds "smutty songs" on her computer and "exposes" parent as purchaser of pornographic entertainment on the Internet. Well, that has nothing to do with the iTMS, but it makes a good story.

That's just a few scenarios. The obvious scenario is that iTMS notes all the titles our young user has illegally downloaded and shares list with RIAA.

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osxpounder



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Another misuse scenario
Authored by: osxpounder on Jan 12, '06 11:25:33PM

You are a musician, and your original, published but free [as in beer] tracks are played in your iTunes on your Mac. For some reason, such as talent, many thousands of other people enjoy downloading your free tracks and playing them in their own iTunes.

iTMS collects titles, which show up in reports shared with marketers or RIAA, who see that many people seem to enjoy your track, "My X ate my Y", and decide to write their own, similar tune, with the same title, and market it. Your own work vanishes in the shadow of corporate marketing efforts to promote the ripoff song.

You write a song about that, but no one remembers or cares about your music anymore, you sad sod.

This has been a late-night fuel-for-paranoia scenario for entertainment purposes only.


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osxpounder



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