Users angry over data in iTunes Plus tracks | iLounge News

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Users angry over data in iTunes Plus tracks

Personal data hidden inside DRM-free, iTunes Plus tracks being offered on the iTunes Store is causing anger amongst some users. Some customers are worried that the data could be used to identify them should the track turn up on file-sharing services, while other users are simply concerned about their online privacy. As mentioned in an earlier iLounge report, all tracks purchased from the iTunes Store, both Fairplay and iTunes Plus versions, are tagged with both the name and email address of the purchaser. Apple has yet to officially comment on the matter.

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Comments

21

what are the chances that your itunes account can detect the songs under some other username and send this data to itunes and
have them send you a bill for the songs you did not buy.
if payment is not made, the songs will not play.

that would mean never use itunes, how can you live without itunes, the best music management software

Posted by Johnny on June 4, 2007 at 10:54 AM (CDT)

22

I think anybody who honestly expects that Apple is going to either track this information, or that they could ever even get away with tracking this information is overly paranoid.

I’ve always taken the approach that there are enough hackers out there looking for their 15 minutes of fame that NO big company in their right mind is going to risk the PR nightmare of being caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.

There is no actual risk of any case or suit ever being won on the basis of the information in these files.  There is *some* risk that the RIAA and its ilk could use this information to intimidate people into “settlements” but even that might end up being a far stretch, considering how easy it is to replace the information in these tracks.

...and that’s ultimately the issue.  AtomicParsley can already be used to remove the actual iTunes account ID and purchase date atoms, and it’s almost trivial to do.  The actual *name* is buried elsewhere and therefore harder to remove, but you can find it in the cleartext of the track header, so you could still change it with a hex editor.  It will only be a matter of time before somebody cooks up a tool that can do this for you.

Since there’s no DRM on the tracks any more, there is no encryption or digital signature precluding this information from being changed.  It would take me about 30 seconds to retag all of my “iTunes Plus” tracks with somebody else’s name on them, if I wanted to.

Mostly, the information is being placed there as a psychological impediment to people freely sharing their music with strangers.  People do tend to be more conscientious about giving away things that have their name on them.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on June 4, 2007 at 1:26 PM (CDT)

23

@ MellowTone41, you can use a pseudonym on Itunes very easily, without being tracked to your Real Name.
1. Buy a gift card @ Target (or whatever); use cash if you are very paranoid
2. Create an itunes account by “Redeem gift Card”
3. Type in Mickey Mouse for name.
4. Refresh account using additional gift cards

No CC is required.

Posted by consumer_q on June 4, 2007 at 2:56 PM (CDT)

24

Oh my gosh!  This isn’t a problem, this is great!  Maybe now people wont want to “share” their music.

Posted by Timstown on June 5, 2007 at 11:43 PM (CDT)

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