iTunes "phone home" feature part of a dangerous trend in data collection
This week at MacWorld, Apple unveiled version 6.0.2 of iTunes, which it simply claimed "includes stability and performance improvements over iTunes 6.0.1." Among these so-called improvements is the Apple iTunes MiniStore -- a localized "recommendation" engine that would look at what you listen to and then suggest additional songs and artists you might like. The MiniStore arrives turned on by default without asking a user's permission first.
However, as news reports have revealed this week, it appears that the MiniStore also automatically transmits your listening information over the Internet back to the Apple Mothership. What Apple does with this information is unknown, although Apple has represented that they are not collecting data on its users -- yet. Nor has Apple disclosed the steps they take to prevent disclosure or leakage of the information to third parties.
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