Is the iTunes Store spying on you? While BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow is ready to head to Cupertino with torches and pitchforks, the usually more level-headed Rob Griffith at MacOSXHints.com reports on the new 6.0.2 iTunes Store — apparently it’s wiretapping your listening habits outside of the store:
As reported on boingboing and other sites, the new iTunes mini store, which appears directly below the song list area in the main iTunes window, spies on your listening habits. You are not told this is happening, but it’s clear that it must be — the store’s selections change each time you listen to a new song. So at a minimum, artist and title information must be being sent to the music store, each and every time you listen to a new song. I don’t know what other data may or may not be collected, but even just title and artist is enough to concern me.
Folks who know what they’re doing grabbed a hold of tcpdump and determined what’s actually being reported, as well as the fact that if you disable the Store, nothing is transmitted.
Whether you believe this is a nefarious thing or not for Apple to do, it does point out the need to pay attention before hitting OK for *any* software upgrades, whether you like the company or not.
As for me, I’ll be disabling the Store until I decide to purchase something. And maybe dusting off a copy of mpg123. ;)