Realnetworks has issued a patch for its Realjukebox software, which lets users record and play CDs as well as download digital music, following privacy concerns from users.
The patch will ensure that the program cannot relay personal information about users to Realnetworks users or any third party during the operation of the software.
The data Realnetworks was collecting was meant to provide statistics regarding aggregate use of Realjukebox, not individual users. The information included the user's music preference, type of portable player installed and the number of songs stored on the hard drive.
Because the data is requested at time of registration, it could in theory be used to target direct marketing campaigns or even detect copyright violations. The collection of this data, however, led to major privacy concerns among its users.
"We made a mistake in not being clear enough to our users about what kind of data was being generated and transmitted by the use of Realjukebox.
"We respect and value the privacy of our users, and we deeply apologise for doing anything that suggests otherwise," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of Realnetworks.
For new users, this patch will also be integrated into the downloadable version of Realjukebox 1.0 later this week, available at www.real.com. The same patch will be integrated into versions of Realjukebox distributed with other products and will be available in these packages beginning next week.
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