Not everybody has love for Apple in their pants — a new update to iTunes was released and bloggers are outraged. The issue is a new MiniStore panel underneath the library view. As you play tracks in your personal library, iTunes transmits info about the track back to the iTunes Music Store, which fills the MiniStore with recommendations for related music for you to buy.
What turns it from annoying marketing ploy to Assault On Our Privacy is that the program transmits data without your consent, and it attaches an ID code based on your iTMS ID to each transmission. So the music in your personal library could conceivably be tracked back to you, and before you know it, Steve Jobs knows you're a closet Kelly Clarkson fan.
We in the labs find ourselves in the much ado about next-to-nothing camp — there's no question that Apple should've made the fact that they're transmitting personal information explicit in the new iTunes licensing agreement. And it would've been preferable to make it opt-in instead of on by default. Still, we feel it's hyperbolic and paranoid to extrapolate this mis-step into a greater privacy issue, and just plain irresponsible to draw connections to wiretapping and the Patriot Act.Image of old-school, non-iPod-compatible 501s from the Levi's website