EFF Wrong About iTunes Privacy Concerns

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a story published by the Associate Press last week, says that Apple’s new DRM-Free tracks available through iTunes are raising new privacy concerns. That’s because although DRM (Digital Rights Managment) has been removed from the songs, making it easier to move them between multiple music players and computers, Apple does include customer names and account information in the digital music music files they sell.

Privacy advocates claim that by embedding customer names and account info into songs that it exposes to a greater risk of theft of that private information. However, the only way in which only these music files could be copied or otherwise examined would be through illegal file sharing. Attacks on a system that allowed access to music files would likely also allow access to other files that would be much more appealing to online snoops.

By tagging tracks with user information Apple has done away with the huge problems inherent in DRM, yet it has kept a modicum of honesty in the system. This is a great compromise position that should be applauded.