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The Price of Online Privacy

March 29th, 2006

At the grocery store the other night, I bought a half-pound of turkey from the deli. Only when I got home I discovered that they gave me ham by mistake. I went back to return the errant cold cuts, but before the store clerk would wait on me, he asked me for my name and phone number.

I refused, telling him that my request had nothing to do with that information. Then he asked for my store “loyalty card” number. I wouldn´t give him that, either. I mean, it was just ham, and it was the deli´s mistake! So he told me he couldn´t help me until I paid a $49 fee first.

Absurd, right? That´s because it´s not exactly true. The grocery store didn´t do that to me. Apple´s iTunes Music Store did. And it wasn´t a half-pound of turkey I bought; it was a $0.99 song download. The wrong song. I downloaded a track listed as a live version of this song and instead received a studio version. In other words, Apple´s store gave me ham that was incorrectly labeled turkey. I called Apple, thinking the company would credit my account, and I thought I was doing a nice thing by letting the store know about the labeling error.Read Full Story

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