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Class-action Carrier IQ suit targets Apple, HTC, Samsung, carriers & more

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Apple is one of a laundry list of companies that have been targeted in a new class-action lawsuit over the Carrier IQ software data logging controversy.

Joining Apple among the list of defendants in the new lawsuit filed by Delaware-based Sianni & Straite LLP are fellow device makers HTC, Samsung and Motorola. In addition, U.S. carriers AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have been targeted for selling phones that include Carrier IQ software.

The class-action suit was filed in federal court in Wilmington, Del., accusing the companies of an "unprecedented breach in the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users." The three carriers and four smartphone manufacturers targeted are charged with violating the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

"Defendants Samsung, Apple, Motorola, and HTC pre-install Carrier IQ software on cell phones used by its customers on the AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint networks," the complaint reads.

Carrier IQ and its software gained attention last week when Trevor Eckhart, a security researcher, found that it runs in the background on a stock HTC handset, even if the phone is in airplane mode and operating over Wi-Fi. The Carrier IQ software was tracked logging every action on the device, including keys pressed and numbers dialed.

Apple issued a statement to say that Carrier IQ has not been a part of "most of its products" since the release of iOS 5 in October. Inactive remnants of the Carrier IQ software do remain in iOS 5, but Apple has said they will be removed entirely in a future software update.



In addition to the new class-action lawsuit, Apple is also under scrutiny from German regulators, who made a formal request last week to Apple for more information. But while Apple has apparently moved away from Carrier IQ with the release of iOS 5, a number of handset currently available running the Google Android operating system have been found to run the data logging software.

Google has distanced itself from the controversy and stated that it does not include Carrier IQ software in its own devices that run the stock version of Android, including Nexus phones and the Xoom tablet. However, because Android is open source, carriers can require that hardware makers, like HTC and Samsung, include Carrier IQ on the devices they ship.

Carrier IQ has said that it's the carriers who decide what data is being collected and how long it is stored. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have said they rely on Carrier IQ's data to improve wireless network performance, while Verizon -- which was not named in the class-action suit -- has denied that it uses Carrier IQ in any of its handsets.
post #2 of 64
That didn't take long.

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post #3 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That didn't take long.

Of course not. The economy's been tough even for lawyers and they're the ones that benefit the most financially in a class action suit. A consumer is lucky to get $5.00 towards a cell-bill, or perhaps a certificate for some accessory. A great scam if you can pull it off.
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post #4 of 64
lawyer scum. Blast as many companies as possible with a lawsuit and see what falls out. iOS has limited logging and is OFF by default.
post #5 of 64
let see people are upset they get an almost free phone in exchange they gave up their rights to privacy, how is this any different than everyone with a free email account on Google or having a Facebook account and all your personal information about what you do each day can be data mined and sold.

The solution to this problem is do not take free things, remember nothing is free there is always a cost and something that cost if more than the $ leaving your bank account.
post #6 of 64
1) Once Apple is included a lawsuit is inevitable.

2) What I don't understand is why the focus is on Carrier IQ. It's just one company of many that offer analytic software and APIs. We should be focusing on how all OSes, apps, vendors, and carriers monitor our usage, making legal agreements transparent as to what is being recorded, and clear instruction as to how you can opt-out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Of course not. The economy's been tough even for lawyers and they're the ones that benefit the most financially in a class action suit. A consumer is lucky to get $5.00 towards a cell-bill, or perhaps a certificate for some accessory. A great scam if you can pull it off.

Thos settlement with result in a $20 million for the lawyers and a 10% off coupon at Dairy Queen for the plaintiffs

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post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

let see people are upset they get an almost free phone in exchange they gave up their rights to privacy, how is this any different than everyone with a free email account on Google or having a Facebook account and all your personal information about what you do each day can be data mined and sold.

The solution to this problem is do not take free things, remember nothing is free there is always a cost and something that cost if more than the $ leaving your bank account.


The cost of the phone is built into the wireless contract. Your idea of "free" is actually getting a product up front that you pay for over the subsequent two years, under contract.

Argument=fail.
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

let see people are upset they get an almost free phone in exchange they gave up their rights to privacy, how is this any different than everyone with a free email account on Google or having a Facebook account and all your personal information about what you do each day can be data mined and sold.

The solution to this problem is do not take free things, remember nothing is free there is always a cost and something that cost if more than the $ leaving your bank account.

Analytica are used regardless.

Even with free Gmail, iCloud, Facebook etc. what is being monitored should be clearly stated in the legal agreement you agreed to.

Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ23kosLFec

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That didn't take long.

First rule of vampire survival: don't be the last bloodsucker to bite the neck of a host.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Analytical are used regardless.

Even with free Gmail, iCloud, Facebook etc. what is being monitored should be clearly stated in the legal agreement you agreed to.

Honestly, who reads the 15 page end-user license agreement anyway? Lost cause, probably. If you're using a device that's any more advanced than a ti83+ there is a possibility that you're being watched.
post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Once Apple is included a lawsuit is inevitable.

2) What I don't understand is why the focus is on Carrier IQ. It's just company of many that offer analytic software and APIs. We should all be focusing on how all OSes, apps, vendors, and carriers monitor our usage, bringing transparent legal agreement as to what is being recorded and clear instruction as to how you can opt out of.



Thos settlement with result in a $20 million for the lawyers and a 10% off coupon at Dairy Queen for the plaintiffs

1) Apple will probably get off scott free if the iOS EULA has language that says Apple can gather non-personally identifiable information about the use of your device for the purposes of improving performance yada yada legalese. Hell, we probably all consented by downloading iOS at some point.

2) if settlement is what they are after, then I argue it was never about your privacy rights, but about legal gamesmanship in order to go after companies with deep pockets to get a payday.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #12 of 64
I wonder if this fiasco allows me to break my phone contract without paying the termination fee? Since they weren't up front about what CIQ can do and it most likely is breaking some US privacy law. Doesn't fraud invalidate the user phone contract? I bet that's why they kept it such a secret and now they are trying their hardest to distance themselves from CIQ and maybe other such software we don't know about yet. :cough:: Verizon? ::cough:
post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Of course not. The economy's been tough even for lawyers and they're the ones that benefit the most financially in a class action suit. A consumer is lucky to get $5.00 towards a cell-bill, or perhaps a certificate for some accessory. A great scam if you can pull it off.

Without commenting on the merits of this suit, class action suits serve a few useful purposes.

First, acting alone, an individual would not be able to afford to sue, or retain legal counsel to sue, in cases where actual damages are not likely to be large. Against a large corporation's legal team, an individual would stand little chance of winning any settlement at all. (Which is exactly why large corporations try to kill class action suits.) By allowing plaintiffs to combine as a class, our legal system attempts to ensure fairness in the process -- i.e., justice -- by making it possible for the individuals making up the class to be fairly represented by counsel.

Secondly, lawyers take these cases knowing that if they lose, they will receive nothing at all. Thus they assume substantial financial risk in bringing them. Yes, a large class action suit can be very profitable for the lawyers... if they win. If they lose, it can be very costly. That's the way our legal system is set up, so that in these types of cases, lawyers are forced to act as entrepreneurs, and that's the only option the plaintiffs have for receiving any justice at all.

Lastly, the purpose of these lawsuits is not simply to provide compensation to plaintiffs for actual damages. They also serve as a deterrent to those who may be contemplating conduct that adversely, and contrary to law, affects large numbers of people, perhaps in only minor ways. By allowing plaintiffs to combine as a class, damage awards as a whole, will more likely be large enough to have a deterrent effect.

This whole mindless calling for tort reform and disparaging lawyers kind of mentality, plays right in to the interests of those who wish to operate outside and above the law. Capping damage awards, limiting the ability of plaintiffs to combine as a class, etc., all ultimately harm individuals by eliminating any fear of consequences for bad actions.
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Secondly, lawyers take these cases knowing that if they lose, they will receive nothing at all. Thus they assume substantial financial risk in bringing them. Yes, a large class action suit can be very profitable for the lawyers... if they win. If they lose, it can be very costly. That's the way our legal system is set up, so that in these types of cases, lawyers are forced to act as entrepreneurs, and that's the only option the plaintiffs have for receiving any justice at all.

Actually, the lawyers get their names in the "lights" and the law firm gets publicity.
post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

let see people are upset they get an almost free phone in exchange they gave up their rights to privacy, how is this any different than everyone with a free email account on Google or having a Facebook account and all your personal information about what you do each day can be data mined and sold.

The solution to this problem is do not take free things, remember nothing is free there is always a cost and something that cost if more than the $ leaving your bank account.

Free phone my a$z - I'd paid $299 for my Evo 4G and am bound to sprint for two years. I don't need people playing peek-a-boo with my own property. Good for the lawyers!
post #16 of 64
Good! I'm glad!

I did not appreciate every freaking key-stroke, geo-data, HTTPS data, and whatnot being sent to a shady third-party company. The opt-in wasn't intended for this kinda crap.
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post #17 of 64
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Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Actually, the lawyers get their names in the "lights" and the law firm gets publicity.

Which it may be some small consolation for their financial loses if they lose the case that they get to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame.
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Those settlement with result in a $20 million for the lawyers and a 10% off coupon at Dairy Queen for the plaintiffs

Cheap Blizzards for all!!

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post #19 of 64
What is the basis for the lawsuit? You have to prove harm done. These class-action lawsuits are pure trolling by lawyers.

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post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Good! I'm glad!

I did not appreciate every freaking key-stroke, geo-data, HTTPS data, and whatnot being sent to a shady third-party company. The opt-in wasn't intended for this kinda crap.

I read that the data was stored in a log file but not actually transmitted from the phone.

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post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

What is the basis for the lawsuit? You have to prove harm done. These class-action lawsuits are pure trolling by lawyers.

Looks to me like every one grabbed their internet pitchforks and got stuck in. In reality the truth is probably far more banal:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57...of-keylogging/

Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA

"The application does not record and transmit keystroke data back to carriers," Rosenberg told CNET. His reverse-engineering showed that "there is no code in Carrier IQ that actually records keystrokes for data collection purposes."

Quote:
Carrier IQ has given Rebecca Bace, a well-known security expert who's advised startups including Tripwire and Qualys, access to the company's engineers and internal documents. (Bace says she has no financial relationship with Carrier IQ.)
Bace told CNET that: "I'm comfortable that the designers and implementers expended a great deal of discipline in focusing on the espoused goals of the software--to serve as a diagnostic aid for assuring quality of service and experience for mobile carriers."

Quote:
Coward acknowledged that the company's software, which is designed to be installed by carriers, can report back what applications are being used and what URLs are visited. Carrier IQ doesn't make these decisions; rather, they sell configurable software and the carriers decide what options to enable.

but

Quote:
It's true that carriers already know what URLs you're visiting when you use their network--meaning that, in many cases, Carrier IQ can be configured to send them data they already have.

There are privacy concerns but nothing like the extent of what is being thrown about the internet.
post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Good! I'm glad!

I did not appreciate every freaking key-stroke, geo-data, HTTPS data, and whatnot being sent to a shady third-party company. The opt-in wasn't intended for this kinda crap.

Then don't buy an Android phone. But even then, all that is not being logged even in the worst case.

This is all a lot to do about mostly nothing.
post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

This whole mindless calling for tort reform and disparaging lawyers kind of mentality, plays right in to the interests of those who wish to operate outside and above the law. Capping damage awards, limiting the ability of plaintiffs to combine as a class, etc., all ultimately harm individuals by eliminating any fear of consequences for bad actions.

Wow, I pretty much 100% disagree with this statement in its entirety.

Tort reform (especially medical) is more needed than patent law reform. Come to think of it, they are both linked.
post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Actually, the lawyers get their names in the "lights" and the law firm gets publicity.

Not good publicity if they lose though.
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That didn't take long.

Especially since the facts are nowhere near being uncovered and confirmed. So far all we have is the questionable research of some security nerd. The drive-by media has jumped on this to put out all the FUD it can muster in order to get the "scoop" and the page clicks. The entire thing is rumor and hearsay at this point. Things may or may not be what they seem. But that doesn't matter does it.
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Good! I'm glad!

I did not appreciate every freaking key-stroke, geo-data, HTTPS data, and whatnot being sent to a shady third-party company. The opt-in wasn't intended for this kinda crap.

Please provide proof of your allegations. So far all we have is the word of some unknown security nerd. I mean Julian Assange has also stated that there is some sort of bug in iTunes that allows the government to do whatever they want with your data. No proof, no evidence, just the word of some paranoid screwball fighting extradition for charges of rape.
post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

1) Apple will probably get off scott free if the iOS EULA has language that says Apple can gather non-personally identifiable information about the use of your device for the purposes of improving performance yada yada legalese. Hell, we probably all consented by downloading iOS at some point. . . .

In the iTunes agreement, besides the standard Apple Privacy there's also a mention concerning privacy and the Genius feature. To use iTunes I think Genius is a requirement isn't it? With Genius turned on it's collecting information on all the media installed on your computer, not just what was purchased thru iTunes. There's no clear description of what other media info is collected, and it's implied that other information besides media may be harvested. Supposedly this "other data" isn't associated with your specific user account.

As for Apple's Privacy Policy that every iPhone user agreed to, it does allow Apple to share personally identifiable information about you with it's partners, ATT and Sprint for instance, and vice-versa.

"You may be asked to provide your personal information anytime you are in contact with Apple or an Apple affiliated company. Apple and its affiliates may share this personal information with each other and use it consistent with this Privacy Policy. They may also combine it with other information to provide and improve our products, services, content, and advertising."

It goes on to describe some types of data they might collect about you, tho it's not limited to these specific examples:

"When you create an Apple ID, register your products, apply for commercial credit, purchase a product, download a software update, register for a class at an Apple Retail Store, or participate in an online survey, we may collect a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information.

When you share your content with family and friends using Apple products, send gift certificates and products, or invite others to join you on Apple forums, Apple may collect the information you provide about those people such as name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.."
Not quite as comfortable with that one. My friends may not appreciate it.

In any case, every Apple user has agreed to allow Apple to gather and share personal info (PII) with partners, and even outside 3rd parties under specific conditions. I don't think the lawyers will be able to argue that user's of Apple devices didn't agree to the collection and sharing of PII and would only have the "illegal wiretap" claims as an argument IMHO. That's going to be stretch to prove.

http://www.apple.com/privacy/

EDIt: As SolipsismX alluded to, it's not the "CarrierIQ's" we need to be concerned with anyway. Take a moment to read this ArsTechnica article. No platform, including iOS, is exempt from government spyware.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...overnments.ars
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post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

Wow, I pretty much 100% disagree with this statement in its entirety.

Tort reform (especially medical) is more needed than patent law reform. Come to think of it, they are both linked.

Yet, you have nothing to offer on how we would effect so-called "Tort Reform" without eliminating all protections and recourse citizens currently enjoy under the law, nor how we prevent offenders from simply calculating in damages as a small cost of doing business.

Those calling for junking our current system of laws and protections need to offer a viable alternative rather than simply calling for mindless "reform".
post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Joining Apple among the list of defendants in the new lawsuit filed by Delaware-based Sianni & Straite LLP are fellow device makers HTC, Samsung and Motorola. In addition, U.S. carriers AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have been targeted for selling phones that include Carrier IQ software.



They always go after Apple, and give RIM a free pass!
post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

In the iTunes agreement, besides the standard Apple Privacy there's also a mention concerning privacy and the Genius feature. To use iTunes I think Genius is a requirement isn't it? With Genius turned on it's collecting information on all the media installed on your computer, not just what was purchased thru iTunes. There's no clear description of what other media info is collected, and it's implied that other information besides media may be harvested. Supposedly this "other data" isn't associated with your specific user account.

Regarding Genius, you have to opt-in. It is not a requirement to use iTunes. Here's the relevant wording in the EULA:

"When you opt-in to the Genius feature by checking the box below, Apple will, from time to time, automatically collect information that can be used to identify media in your iTunes library on this computer, such as your play history and play lists.* This includes media purchased through iTunes and media obtained from other sources. This information will be stored anonymously and not associated with your name or iTunes account."

TiVo service has a similar feature that you also have to opt-in to use, but if you choose not to use it, it does not prevent you from using your TiVo.

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post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Regarding Genius, you have to opt-in. It is not a requirement to use iTunes. Here's the relevant wording in the EULA:

"When you opt-in to the Genius feature by checking the box below, Apple will, from time to time, automatically collect information that can be used to identify media in your iTunes library on this computer, such as your play history and play lists.* This includes media purchased through iTunes and media obtained from other sources. This information will be stored anonymously and not associated with your name or iTunes account."

TiVo service has a similar feature that you also have to opt-in to use, but if you choose not to use it, it does not prevent you from using your TiVo.

It's also not "all the media installed on your computer."

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's also not "all the media installed on your computer."

So what would "media from other sources" be restricted to?
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post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

So what would "media from other sources" be restricted to?

Your iTunes Library.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yet, you have nothing to offer on how we would effect so-called "Tort Reform" without eliminating all protections and recourse citizens currently enjoy under the law.

Rubbish. Tort reform is about limiting the circumstances of liability and extent of compensation. In most cases it would be to something reasonable under the circumstances. In the first, place I would not leave it to a jury to calculate damages. There is a way to calculate the quantum of damage, and if policy supports it, exemplary damages. It is a stupid idea to give 12 people the opportunity to pull a number out of their arses and send a plaintiff on their way.

Quote:
nor how we prevent offenders from simply calculating in damages as a small cost of doing business.

Whenever you reduce something to a monetary value these calculations become inevitable. The alternative is incarceration. You would have to turn civil law into something which would have criminal consequences. In a lot of cases criminal code has provision for the same things which could result in a civil action. It would be unnecessary to contort developed law to involve incarceration for tortfeasors if there were a corresponding criminal provision, and the standard of proof would be more in line with what is required to invoke incarceration as a penalty.

EDIT: where a corporation is involved perhaps injunction could be used to prohibit them selling products or services for a period of time.

Quote:
Those calling for junking our current system of laws and protections need to offer a viable alternative rather than simply calling for mindless "reform".

Indeed. But you can also accept that the current system is not quite right when you got mind boggling sums awarded as damages as is the current case. Remember the principal point about compensation is to put things right, not to find a gravy train.
post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Not good publicity if they lose though.

any publicity is good publicity. No lawyer is has a 100% win rate so they may lose one but it puts their name out there.
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Your iTunes Library.

How is that different from iTune purchases? I asked my son just now and he thought everything in the library came from Apple.
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post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

How is that different from iTune purchases? I asked my son just now and he thought everything in the library came from Apple.

Looks like you caught be in your trolling snare. Way to go! You win whatever is trolls win for acting like idiots.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Looks like you caught be in your trolling snare. Way to go! You win whatever is trolls win for acting like idiots.

Whatever, but I still didn't see the clarification. From the wording in the iTunes agreement terms it would imply both the iTunes library and other sources on your computer. If you don't care to answer it then fine. I don't know how the question is trolling.
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post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Whatever, but I still didn't see the clarification. From the wording in the iTunes agreement terms it would imply both the iTunes library and other sources on your computer. If you don't care to answer it then fine. I don't know how the question is trolling.

It's either purposeful obtuseness (trolling) or you really are that obtuse. I don't experience such people in my day to day activities so I give you the benefit of the doubt and think you can't be that serious, but then I realize that reading comprehension has never been your forte so let's go at it again.
"When you opt-in to the Genius feature by checking the box below, Apple will, from time to time, automatically collect information that can be used to identify media in your iTunes library on this computer, such as your play history and play lists.* This includes media purchased through iTunes and media obtained from other sources. This information will be stored anonymously and not associated with your name or iTunes account." 1) "Identify media in your iTunes library on this computer"

2) "includes media purchased through iTunes and media obtained from other sources"

If it's not in your iTunes Library it's going to be recorded. Apple isn't spidering your entire Windows or Mac PCs looking for data without your knowledge or permission.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I wonder if you're serious but then I realized that reading comprehension has never been your forte so let's go it it again.
"When you opt-in to the Genius feature by checking the box below, Apple will, from time to time, automatically collect information that can be used to identify media in your iTunes library on this computer, such as your play history and play lists.* This includes media purchased through iTunes and media obtained from other sources. This information will be stored anonymously and not associated with your name or iTunes account." 1) "Identify media in your iTunes library on this computer"

2) "includes media purchased through iTunes and media obtained from other sources"

So your iTunes Library includes media you may have purchased from Amazon or some other source then? Just wanted to make sure I understood correctly.

Not sure why you also feel the need to toss a personal insult in there too. There's been a couple of times I've corrected you quite politely when you've erred, refraining from treating you as tho you were a fool. I suppose it does make some people feel better about themselves to belittle others but it's not a great trait IMO.
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