Last.fm, Privacy, U2, the RIAA, and You

The food people at TechCrunch ask: Did Last.fm Just Hand Over User Listening Data to the RIAA.

U2 has a new album coming out. Like so many, this one leaked. This band being U2, a money maker for their overlords, and now the executives, and the RIAA, have been sent deep into a tizzy. And so the RIAA is investigating. Enter Last.fm, which has a piece of software that forms recommendations and community around your music tastes. And so if you have the new U2 album, Last.fm knows about it. And shared the information. With the RIAA. Apparently.

Says the Last.fm privacy policy:

. . . your record collection (including your skipping history) may be viewed by all other users of Last.fm (who may include other organisations or representatives of other organisations who have registered as Last.fm users) and that they may easily associate this information with your Last.fm username.

Good, bad, or indifferent – be reminded that what seems anomonous usually isn’t. Especially online.

So yeah, fuck it, – Go download the new U2 album.

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One Response to “Last.fm, Privacy, U2, the RIAA, and You”

  1. Alex Pounds Says:

    Hello!

    TechCrunch have gotten mixed up and posted an unsubstantiated rumour. It’s entirely untrue, as Last.fm have stated here: http://www.last.fm/forum/21713/_/506518/1#f8660996

    “We’ve never had any request for such data by anyone, and if we did we wouldn’t consent to it.

    Of course we work with the major labels and provide them with broad statistics, as we would with any other label, but we’d never personally identify our users to a third party – that goes against everything we stand for.

    As far as I’m concerned Techcrunch have made this whole story up.”

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