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6/4/2007
10:07 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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iTunes Plus: DRM-Free, But Invades Your Privacy

This one hurts. Last week, Apple launched its iTunes Plus music store, selling higher quality audio tracks from EMI for $1.29 without digital rights management. Aside from the extra $0.30, there's another, higher cost that isn't mentioned. Each song purchased from iTunes and iTunes Plus is permanently tagged with the purchaser's name and email address. Users are outraged, and I don't blame the

This one hurts. Last week, Apple launched its iTunes Plus music store, selling higher quality audio tracks from EMI for $1.29 without digital rights management. Aside from the extra $0.30, there's another, higher cost that isn't mentioned. Each song purchased from iTunes and iTunes Plus is permanently tagged with the purchaser's name and email address. Users are outraged, and I don't blame them.Before iTunes Plus was announced, it didn't really matter. All songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store are tagged with user info. The tracks that have digital rights management, however, can't be shared, so it isn't a real issue (even if it's still a bit creepy). Since you cant' share those songs, no one else has access to your information.

The songs from iTunes Plus are also tagged. But because they are free of DRM, they can be shared...along with your name, iTunes account information and email address. That means if you choose to share a song with a friend, who in turn shares that song with another friend (and so on and so on), your full account information will be spread with the song. That's a bit unnerving.

This almost feels like a dare of some sort. Apple is asking iTunes users to take a chance with their privacy. Who's really willing to take that risk?

Apple hasn't said anything about the song tagging.

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