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back to article iTunes privacy hole shares library content with world+dog

A technology researcher has unearthed a privacy hole in Apple's iTunes Store that makes it easy for unauthorized people to learn what music, videos and apps you've acquired from the online bazaar. The technique, which is described in a recent post by Andrew McAfee, exploits design weaknesses in a feature of the online store …

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Jobs Halo

Doesn't matter...

'cause Apple is exempt from... what are those things called? Oh yeah, laws.

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Easy?

"A technology researcher has unearthed a privacy hole in Apple's iTunes Store that makes it easy for unauthorized people to learn what music, videos and apps you've acquired from the online bazaar. "

Erm, no it doesn't. You have to setup a playlist and try to gift it to someone (who's account email you somehow know).

It then will tell you *one at a time* any tracks the recipient already owns.

I personally would not call that easy. I agree it seems to be a security breach of a kind, and should be patched-up, but really? This is seeen as a problem?

The Kindle option seems much nicer to me, and I wonder why Apple isn't using such a system already?

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FAIL

re: Easy...

Yeah thats the exemption clause I'm going to use in front of the judge.. honest m'lawd it was well tricky to organise the Ponzi scheme, so you must let me off...

Jason , if you bothered to read the article, you might have read this bit:

"But as McAfee points out, the Video Privacy Protection Act imposes federal penalties on any person engaged in the business of renting, selling or delivering a “video tape” who publishes information about a customer's viewing habits."

Laws are not usually exempted by ease/difficulty of infringement...

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myopic?

You're correct - I missed that part.

Personally I really don't care if anyone finds out that information about me, but I understand that others do - and that the law should protect them/us all.

Obviously it still needs to be patched-up.

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iTunes

Do people actually buy stuff on iTunes? Seems expensive to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

As if you don't already know the answer. Of course people buy stuff on iTunes.

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Anonymous Coward

the reason amazon does it

Is because if they said '<receipient> already owns <item>', what percentage of buyers would a) pick something else to buy that is 1) more expensive or 2) less expensive or b) not buy anything at all?

Probably b), followed by 2), even if it they actually think about it for a day before trying again.

Without regard to the law mentioned, If i was going to buy someone a $30 book, and the checkout told me that they already owned it and would I like to turn that $30 into an electronic gift certificate, I think that would be an easy YES decision to make.

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Stop

Privacy gone slightly mad don't ya think?

I'm not particularly bothered whether this is the iTunes store or Amazon: Andrew McAfee really needs to find something a bit more worthwhile to waste his time on. I guess you *could* go trawling through the 1/2 million items on iTunes trawling for for dodgy purchases but, really, what are you going to find: Barry Manilow? Fart Apps? I can't imagine that it would be feasible to data-mine via this 'security risk' either.

...I'm imagining that this guy sits on his own down the pub (sports bar for you yanks).

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Please....

For the love of God, "gift" is not a verb.

As Calvin says, "verbing weirds language."

-dZ.

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Anonymous Coward

which language?

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gift#Verb

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Boffin

A gifted Individual may disagree..

Verb to gift

third-person singular simple present: gifts,

present participle: gifting,

simple past and past participle: gifted

1. (transitive) To give (as a gift) to.

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Anonymous Coward

For some reason this article reminded me of Clarkson

All of those 'she' and 'her' references...

But couldn't find the "See? I'm not sexist!" line anywhere in the article.

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Thumb Down

Amazon's way is better?

I'm sure they think it is - they still get the sale. Surely the right thing to do is refund the gift giver the cost of the purchase that's 'redundant', then inform them that the gift would be a duplicate so they can, if they wish, buy something else. Possibly from another store? Maybe that's the bit Amazon aren't so keen on eh?

Jon

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Relax! Relax!

So the fact that I've got the Justin Beiber back catalogue downladed from iTunes isn't actually available to everyone to see? Thank Christ for that...

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Go

Al Capone?

They eventually caught Al Capone for tax crimes, not his really serious stuff.

Wouldn't it be delicious if Apple were nailed in a similar way. Never mind your anti-trust, cartel, anti-competative practices. Good old fashioned Video Store mailing list breach!

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You might want to read up on those laws you cite so freely...

... because you don't appear to have understood the basic concept of a "monopoly".

Microsoft had an OS monopoly and got repeatedly taken to court over their practices.

Google arguably have an even bigger monopoly now in the web search market.

Apple do NOT have a monopoly, and probably never will. The iTunes store only works on Apple's devices. If you want to use the Android Store, you buy an Android-based device. If you want to use Microsoft's equivalent, you buy a Windows Phone 7 device. And so on.

Apple don't give a shit about the low-end, low-margin, low-profit markets. And, if they know what's good for their long-term survival, they never will, either. It's just not in their interests to enter a race to the bottom. Better to have the top 4-5% of a market and cream off 50% of the profits.

Monopolies are defined by market share, not profit margins.

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So iTunes for windows dosn't exist then

Well ok that saves me from the nightmares then

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Bronze badge

LOL!

"Apple do NOT have a monopoly, and probably never will. The iTunes store only works on Apple's devices. If you want to use the Android Store, you buy an Android-based device. If you want to use Microsoft's equivalent, you buy a Windows Phone 7 device. And so on.

Apple don't give a shit about the low-end, low-margin, low-profit markets. And, if they know what's good for their long-term survival, they never will, either. It's just not in their interests to enter a race to the bottom. Better to have the top 4-5% of a market and cream off 50% of the profits."

Now, that was the first real, genuine, laugh of my day. Seriously.

"Apple don't give a shit about the low-end, low-margin, low-profit markets. And, if they know what's good for their long-term survival, they never will, either. It's just not in their interests to enter a race to the bottom. "

Hehehehe... Even though I don't like what apple is doing to developers/sellers with the 30% thing, i like your description.

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Anonymous Coward

Nightmares?

iTunes may not be perfect - but I really don't see what all the fuss is about. I use it daily, for podcasts/music/iphone syncing. It works.

It very rarely crashes/causes problems for me. Never has.

I have had sooooo many more problems with other software that this constant moaning about iTunes is annoying.

I am also daily using Adobe CS products, Quark, Office, Firefox/Thunderbird - and they cause so many more problems than anything Apple has caused me.

Oh yeah - and don't get me started on the various versions of Windows I have used over the years - AND DRM IN GAMES!!! ARGH!!!!!!

There we go. I feel better now.

Nurse - time for more pills please.

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Bronze badge
Grenade

Oh dear that person has this song

So who cares if someone has some hidiously taste of music?

If they didn't do this they would be putting up an article about how Apple were ripping people off.

Btw I hate Apple, being forced to work on machines with OS9 kernel panic'ed me for life

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