Music services that divulge your guiltiest music pleasures to the world may be breaking US state law. Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act has been cited in a new class action lawsuit against Pandora, claiming $5,000 damages per person. The lawsuit says that by making playlists and histories public and searchable by Google, …
I wouldn't it known if I listened to Katy Perry either
However, the solution is simple. Don't use Pandora.
Or use a pseudo.
I've got that beat by a mile/km...
I only listen either to CDs, or mp3's stored on a local drive, with a "Deny Forever" rule in LittleSnitch preventing iTunes from contacting gracenote.com. I listen to two live streams, tops, both coming out of WFMU, an old-skool freeform FM station coming out of the NYC area, and download a grand total of one -- count 'em, one -- podcast, the "Intoxica" show out of luxuriamusic.com. I have a Farcebook page, but my account contains zero information on my tastes in music, books, and films, as I saw that shit coming a mile/km away.
I detected a strange rodental essence emanating from the likes of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify from the get-go. Despite my lack of "guilt" over my enjoyment of music falling outside the range of tastes considered appropriate for my social group*, I'm still more than a little appalled at what's gone down with Spotify and now Pandora -- especially since Pandora made a big deal about promising they wouldn't divulge peoples' playlists... until they did.
*Full disclosure: I'm a long-time Deadhead and old-skool psych freak who also happens to really dig the Sex Pistols, but don't consider it a "guilty pleasure" at all. I mean, what the hell. It's only rock'n'roll. Still, fuck Spotify and Pandora for the crap they're pulling, anyway.
(Paris, because she's so pretty... oh, so pretty... vaaaaa-CANT.)
I'll go one better again
Like you, all my music is locally stored (and will be until I die) but I don't have iTunes - nothing Apple is permitted in my home. Especially not that iTunes shit.
I use an old version of Winamp, 2.1 (complete with "Winamp! It really whips the llama's arse!" demo mp3), installed from the original install file I downloaded in 1999, long before Nullsoft got bought out by AOL. No phone-home shit, no telling anyone what I'm listening to or what I've got, just a clean simple basic music player that does everything I need.
Trumped the lot of you
All the music I listen to is scrobbled to last.fm where it's publicly available for all to see. I don't care what you think of my music taste, I listen to what I like.
Psychological profiling of musical tastes
The release of playlists by online music services has another, far more onerous, implication.
Since employers are already trying to look at your Facebook page (ostensibly to check if you are ethical enough to rip off customers, foreclose on mortgages, kill women and children (See Alices Restauraunt) ) then so called psychologists who work for employers can and will use your "musical tastes" to profile you even further.
Personal Musical tastes are mostly formed in the teen years so "obviously" anyone who listens to Pink Floyd is (or was at one time) an anti-authoritarian dope fiend. That's not the most glowing employment recommendation even though that may not be who you became 40 years later. Listening to Techno, Trance etc makes you an Extasy chomping addict etc, etc etc,.
I don't (and won't) have a Facebook/Myspace/Buzz/LinkedIn page for privacy reasons and I won't sign up so I can look at one, even one for my son's where my grandsons pictures are.
As far as 'free" services go, always remember this little bumpersticker tidbit from the 60's "Gas, Ass or Grass, nobody rides for free"
I can't think of anything more appropriate to describe "Pandora's Box" (except pneumatic).
Anonymous if you are out there reading this.... suggested new fodder for your ire is Pandora.
Dammit. I listened to Pink Floyd when i was a kid but missed out on the dope fiend bit.
Anyone got a Tardis?
The point AC is making, Bill, is that correlating Pink Floyd listeners with dope fiends is exactly the kind of stereotypical judgement prospective employers will make about you regardless of whether you are/were a stoner or not. This is exactly why all this privacy invasion, personal data collection and profiling is so dangerous - because of the unfounded assumptions those in power will make about people on the strength of it.
"Spotify made its users' private listening data public, at the same time as making Facebook membership mandatory for new signups"
I have an old Spotify 'free' account I have not used in a while, but if they are going to make FB part of it, then its time for a single-use email address and a fake FB ID.
Good luck with password recovery then
Given that these sites are now insisting you fax them copies of your passport etc. in order to unlock accounts/recover passwords, signing up with a fake name only works so long as you never trigger any alerts/get hacked.
And if I was an evil bastard social networking site I would randomly pick some people every month that have shown "suspicious activity" on their accounts (ie they logged in) and require them to fax in their personal details to unlock the account.
Can't be long now...
Probably a serious criminal offence to photoshop a fax of your passport as well.
Gotta hand it to 'em...
So Spotify requires Facebook for a new signup? Right, I'll strike that from my list of possibilities. I notice the latest Deezer app has integrated Facebook. WhyTF to these companies think we want to blather our musical preferences and activities to the world?
It's rhetorical - there are probably a sufficient number of people who don't care that those of us that do are drowned amidst all the noise.
I was going to do a piece about privacy for my blog, but put it on hold with the realisation that I'd first have to define privacy. Is this what we've come to? If so, God[*] help us for the future...
* - insert your choice of deity, superhero, or Richard Stallman.
Last.fm allow anyone (including everyone not logged in) to see a user's music history, and to play their taste in music.
However, I don't think there is a way to map the email address to the username.
Very true but they were honest about this from day one so you sign up you know what you are getting - no changes of policy 2 years down the line!
I've been a member for several years using an alias similar to the one I use here, but that doesn't identify me to anyone but the handful of people who know me well enough to know this alias is me. Then again I'm not ashamed of having Duran Duran in my playlist ;)
Does facebook have the anti-plumber's touch?
It seems that whatever it touches/ buys/ beds also develops horrific privacy leaks.
<-- Yarrr, we be takin' on water! Step lively, ye bilge rats, and make wi' the buckets!
I like ABBA.
Now get over it.
I would guess that most spotify users have facebook accounts. If you integrate the two, you've just cut out one more username/password to remember.
Frictionless moving from facebook to spotify.
Me? No facebook or spotify and single-use email addresses all-round.
Yeah, don't knock ABBA
I'm not afraid to say that my first teen album was ABBA (1975).
Some of those, and later, mixes are legendary, give them another listen on good equipment.
Beats the hell out of some of the modern crud.
Wouldn't bother me!
I listen to All Saints, Seal, Dissection, Immortal, Cradle of Filth, Coldplay, Cipher System, Scar Symmetry, Lighthouse Family, Elgar, Beethoven, Journey, Havok, Megadeth, William Orbit, Bach, The Orb, Marduk, Gorguts, Barbara Dickson, Six Feet Under, Canibal Corpse, Lynryd Skynryd, Blackfoot, MOzart, Gov't Mule, Melt Banana, Elaine Paige.
With a huge range of interests in music from all out crappy pop to full on black metal, I love screwing up your profiling software! Music is music, if it sounds good and you feel good, then listen to it.
I'll listen to and like almost every form of music going except Scat Jazz, now that is the devil's music!!
@ The Fuzzy Wotnot
Yay! Somebody with a taste in music as eclectic as mine. God forbid my phone start sharing my music choices. There's stuff from my '80s nostalgia trip (OMG, Erasure of all things...), there's more modern stuff side by side with the likes of Pachelbel. Ignoring long-dead composers, it spans sixty years, twelve languages, and more genres than I can name (albeit with a current heavy slant towards J-Pop). I like music with a message that isn't "yet another crappy love song" (this is where Erasure comes in - you might find "The Circus" to be quite applicable in our currently screwed up economy. For all of the rubbishy "Oh l'Amour" type songs, they did occaisionally make astute observations. I also like music that makes me feel something, which explains Chihiro Onitsuka and Within Temptation (operatic rock rocks ;) ). I'd like to find a copy of Beethoven 7 played a la Nodame (like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dqVQNuzfSU - lively, not boring and flat like a lot of renditions). About the only genre I stay away from is rap. I'm not familiar with scat jazz - is that the one where they give up on singing and just start making vocal noises randomly?
As you might guess, profiling gives up on me. I once had YouTube 'suggest' a song already in my playlist *twice* in the first ten suggestions. Same video, same URL. Hehe...
Music is music, if it sounds good and you feel good, then listen to it.
Nothing constructive to add, but felt it warranted repeating!
Re: Facebook ID?
Well, I have a spotify account I pay £10/month for (use mobile version on my phone). If facebook becomes a requirement then they'll lose a customer!
Haven't you been paying attention to the patent affairs?
Legal action is not about seeking redress for being wronged, it is just another revenue-generating business activity.
In this case, however, you get the added bonus of moral high-ground for being wronged as well.
Personally I don't use facebook but I do use lots of different browsers, one of which gets a regular "clear all private data" command. I'm surprised that there isn't a "facebook logout" ff plugin which deletes all fb data when you close the last fb tab.
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