Apple has changed the way iTunes works so that users are given the chance to decline the iTunes Ministore, a service that gathers detailed information about your listening habits and transmits it to Apple along with a number that uniquely identifies you.
Last week, users who upgraded to iTunes 6.0.2 discovered that a new feature had been activated, the iTunes MiniStore, which recommends music to purchase based on your listening habits. Subsequent investigation showed that iTunes was also transmitting your Apple ID, which ties this information to your credit card, mother's maiden name and other personal information.
While the service is potentially useful -- I make use of a similar service called Last.FM that helps recommend music based on my listening habits -- the way it was deployed was troubling.
The MiniStore was switched on by default, without any notice that this service was collecting your information, nor which information was being collected, nor what Apple did with this information.
The new version of the iTunes 6.0.2 installer pops up this screen before turning on the MiniStore:
The iTunes MiniStore allows you to discover new music and videos right from your iTunes Library. As you select items in your Library, information about that item is sent to Apple and the MiniStore will send you related songs or videos. Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music Library.
Would you like to turn on the MiniStore now?
That's pretty good news, but I'd still like to know why Apple is transmitting my Apple ID number with the data collected.
Still, this is the right thing for Apple to have done (and what they should have done in the first place) -- good job, Apple.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to edit or sign a PDF and not having access to the original document. That’s why PDFpenPRO is a must-have app in our books.With this extremely useful app, you can merge, markup, and create PDF documents without ever having to convert your PDFs into word processor file formats. Type directly onto […]