It’s time for users to stop giving Apple a free pass when it comes to proprietary code, DRM, or inserting code that tracks private information of their customers. Apple is at least as bad as, if not worse than, Microsoft in these areas. So why don’t the Linux activists target Apple with the same vengeance?
Apple doesn’t license their OS so it can’t be run on hardware the user chooses. If you want to run Mac OS, Apple’s license requires you buy a Mac. I know there are many people who don’t follow that condition of the license but that’s another issue for another day.
iTunes was, and remains, built on DRM. If you want DRM-free music, you must pay a premium for it. Again, I know that people get around DRMed AAC files. Another issue, another day.
We now know Apple inserts code to snoop on users. Per the article linked below, Apple’s terms of service for iPhone state, “When you interact with Apple, we may collect personal information relevant to the situation, such as your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and contact preferences; your credit card information and information about the Apple products you own, such as their serial numbers and date of purchase; and information relating to a support or service issue.”
The question for those concerned about privacy is, Who gets to decide how much information is “relevant to the situation”? The answer is easy. Apple decides and users don’t have any way to know what Apple is collecting about their use and habits.
Some code-savvy users of the iPhone discovered the lines in a hidden string in at least two applications on the device, Stocks.app and Weather.app. The information is sent to a website on Apple’s servers, according to the users….The iPhone may not be the only application doing this. On Digg, one commenter discovered Leopard was doing something similar in certain applications there, even in the most unexpected locations — like the Calculator application.