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RE: Why is Microsoft watching us watch DVD movies?
From: "Richard M. Smith" <rms () computerbytesman com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 21:16:35 -0500

Hi Konrad,

  >>> CDDB queries _don't_ include a serial number of the querying 
  >>> player or software library and thus don't allow associations 
  >>> between requests and individuals.

Actually with the newer CDDB2 protocol, Gracenote does use GUIDs to
track what CDs individual users are listening to for direct marketing
purposes:

http://www.gracenote.com/mrs2privacy.html

Identifying Information. The Gracenote CDDB2 Service uses a unique
identifier to track queries for statistical purposes (see Data
Aggregation below) and to allow personalization features (see
Personalized Content below). This is a number that Gracenote CDDB
assigns to you at random when you register. (A numeric identifier is
sometimes called a Globally Unique Identifier, or GUID. However, there
are many different uses of GUIDs, some benign and some controversial, in
the industry.) Gracenote CDDB does not generate this number from any
hardware identifier (such as an IP address) or any other information
that can be traced back to you or the computer you are using. The
purpose of a randomly assigned numeric identifier is to allow the
Gracenote CDDB to count queries without knowing anything about who you
are other than the information you choose to provide when you register,
and which you can delete at any time. 

Registration and Requested Information. When you register with the
Gracenote CDDB2 Service, we ask you for general information about
yourself, such as zip or country code, email address, sex, and age
range, that will be helpful in gathering aggregate statistics, and for
delivering personalized content. For example, if you supply a zip code,
we may use it to collect aggregate statistics about what music fans are
playing in your part of the country, or to provide personalized tour
information based on the city in which you live, but neither Gracenote
CDDB nor anyone will use your zip code to try to send you mail at home
or identify you personally. All information requested is optional,
except for a "nickname" you choose, and a password to give you exclusive
access to change or delete your information at any time.

Personalized Content. Our technology can do personalized "targeting" of
content, advertisements, and other promotions without disclosing any of
your personal information to anyone outside Gracenote CDDB. With your
permission we may use information you have provided to us, such as
registration information or other albums you have looked up, to
personalize the content you see or hear. During registration, or at any
time afterward, you can choose to turn off this personalized service. 

Richard M. Smith
http://www.ComputerBytesMan.com



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