Apple drawing fire for embedding personal data in iTunes music files
UPI News Service, 06/01/2007
U.S.-based Apple is drawing fire for embedding personal information in music files bought from its iTunes online music store.
Ars Technica, a technology Web site, was among the first to reveal it had found names and e-mail addresses of purchasers embedded in the AAC files Apple uses to distribute music tracks, The Times of London reported Friday.
"Everyone should be aware that while DRM-free files may lift a lot of restrictions on our personal usage habits, it doesn't mean that we can just start sharing the love, so to speak. Sharer beware," Ars Technica said.
Personal information is also included in tracks sold under Apple's newly launched iTunes Plus system.
The Electronic Freedom Foundation, an online consumer rights group, said it found other data in iTunes files. It said it was possible the information could be used to "watermark" tracks so the original purchaser could be tracked down if a track appeared on a file-sharing network.
An Apple spokeswoman was unable to comment when contacted by Times Online.