New iTunes Offerings Raise Privacy Worries

DRM-free tracks contain purchaser's name, email address
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2007 11:23 AM CDT
New iTunes Offerings Raise Privacy Worries
Apple computer CEO Steve Jobs, right, with Damon Alban, center, of the pop group Blurr, and Eric Nicoli, CEO EMI Group look on in the lobby of the EMI record company headquarters in London, Monday April 2, 2007. Jobs was at the launch of digital rights management (DRM) free recordings that EMI will...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Apple's announcement that iTunes would make DRM-free music available omitted a significant detail: The personal information embedded in regular tracks is also in the non-privacy-protected tunes. That raises privacy concerns, the AP reports, including the possibility that the unencrypted information might make it easier for music companies to crack down on illegal online sharing.

"It's not as bad as leaking your credit card number or your Social Security number, but it's still a pretty careless security leak," says a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group. DRM-free music can be freely copied and played anywhere, and Apple's reasoning for making users identifiable isn't clear; the company hasn't commented. (Read more iTunes stories.)

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