RealNetworks apologises for invading user privacy

In response to widespread criticisms that it breached user privacy, Real Networks has apologised to users as it issued a patch that will prevent its RealJukebox software from surreptitiously monitoring user behaviour. The company also promised to revamp its privacy policy.

The new software patch will also prevent such data from being sent to RealNetworks or other third parties, RealNetworks said in a statement. The move came after reports revealed that personal information about users of the company's RealJukebox was being sent to RealNetworks without users' knowledge or consent.

RealJukebox is a widely used software application that lets users download compressed music files onto their PCs and then listen to them either on the PC or via a portable digital music player.

RealNetworks claimed it was only collecting "aggregate" statistics on how RealJukebox is used, rather than gathering information on individual users.

"We made a mistake in not being clear enough to our users about what kinds 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 chief executive officer of RealNetworks, in the statement.

The company has nonetheless stopped collecting data until after it develops a way to get users consent and makes privacy enhancements to its software, the statement said. It has also stopped asking users to provide their e-mail address and name when they download its software.

RealNetworks said that it has also begun an immediate review of its privacy and data collection practices.

More information on the patch can be found at http://www.real.com/rjcentral/privacyupdate.html

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

MUNICH

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?