iTunes now warning about MiniStore

Apple has added a warning to iTunes, telling users its MiniStore feature phones consumer information back to the company.

Bloggers had complained last week after it was revealed that iTunes version 6.0.2 was sending information to the company without direct user notification.

When users now check the MiniStore, they receive a warning: "As you select items in your library, information about that item is sent to Apple and the MiniStore will show you related songs or videos. Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music library."

iTunes customers are also now reminded that they can disable the MiniStore just by clicking a button.

Turning the MiniStore off disables the program from sending information back to Apple, Apple expert Kirk McElhearn said on his Kirkville site last week.

Apple again said in a statement today that the company does not keep customer information.

"Apple is listening to its users and has made the MiniStore an opt-in feature," the company said. "Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of customers' music libraries."

In recent months, Sony-BMG Entertainment faced a public relations nightmare following the exposure of rootkit-like Extended Copyright Protection and MediaMax technology on its CDs.

Sony has agreed to give customers who purchased an affected disc either cash, a replacement CD or downloadable music. The settlement was in response to a handful of lawsuits filed against the music giant late last year.

The media firestorm erupted in November over the data management applications, forcing Sony to recall CDs containing XCP technology, made by London-based First4Internet. The company recently said it will also stop making CDs containing the similar MediaMax, which was created by Phoenix-based SunnComm.

McElhearn said Wednesday on his blog that Apple "did the right thing."

"I'm pleased that Apple decided to make this change, and reassured that the company has listened to its critics and that it has reacted to quickly," he said. "Apple, you have restored my faith. Thanks!"

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