Last week a few blogs and web sites reported that Apple was embedding a consumer’s name in DRM-free tracks purchased from the iTunes music store. It was then reported that it was all tracks that contained names, not just the new iTunes Plus DRM-free ones. The story hit the mainstream, appearing in The Times among other places, with reports that email addresses were also embedded in the track data.
Of course speculation continues as to why and what is done with the data, the privacy implications, and so on. Some people think it is no big deal and others suggest it allows large-scale data analysis on casual piracy. What is clear is that, with no response yet from the company, Apple may be drawn into privacy debates that it really may not want after shrugging off European regulators on DRM.