iTunes MiniStore now asks permission first

A controversial feature in Apple’s recently updated iTunes v6.0.2 is the iTunes MiniStore, which tries to make suggestions for what to buy from the iTunes Music Store based on you’re listening to. Now the MiniStore will only operate if you give it permission first.

The iTunes MiniStore appears below the song list area in the main iTunes window. Although Macworld has received assurances from an Apple official that no information is collected from users in this process, the move worried users concerned about privacy — including Macworld editor Rob Griffiths, who outlined his concerns in a recent Editor’s Weblog posting.

“Apple should amend iTunes to clearly disclose what data the program is transmitting and how it’s being used. There should be a dialog box that pops up the first time iTunes runs, explaining exactly how the MiniStore works,” Griffiths wrote. “If Apple had just included that yesterday — or even some information in the Read Me, then I wouldn’t have even raised this as an issue. A little transparency and openness can go a long way to easing privacy fears.”

Apple has apparently taken Griffiths’ suggestion to heart. Users who have the MiniStore pane active in iTunes now see the following:

“The iTunes MiniStore allows you to discover new music and videos right from your iTunes Library. 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.

“Would you like to turn on the MiniStore now?”

A button then provides users with the ability to activate the feature. An arrow also shows users how they can turn the MiniStore on or off whenever they want by clicking a button on the iTunes interface.

Subscribe to the Best of Macworld Newsletter

Comments