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Tunecore's CEO Responds To Widget Controversy

BROOKLYN, NY (Hypebot) Last week Hypebot reported on some major upgrades that Tunecore had made to the widget it offers its users. One useful feature captured information from fans.

Data capture and use has gotten many internet companies from Facebook to iTunes in hot water with both users and privacy experts as they struggle to find the right balance; and one "concerned" Hypebot reader wrote passionately about their belief that Tunecore's policies did not offer sufficient protection. With capital leaders added for emphasis, the company's policy reads:

"TUNECORE MAY USE PERSONAL INFORMATION and other non-personal information about you for the following general purposes: to fulfill your requests for products and services; improve our services; CONTACT YOU; customize advertising and content you see; conduct research; and provide anonymous reporting for internal and external clients.

TuneCore may provide your Personal Information directly to the artists that you select. You acknowledge and agree that any such artists that receive such Personal Information (a) may contact you directly from time to time and (b) MAY NOT TREAT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WITH THE SAME LEVEL OF CONFIDENTIALITY AS THE TERMS OF THIS PRIVACY POLICY."

A rather heated debate followed and Tunecore CEO and founder Jeff Price responded:
"We wanted to make a media player that artists could make at their discretion that showed videos, band photos, tour dates, twitter feeds, band bio, external link and allowed people to become "fans" of the band.

When someone wanted to become a fan of the band we wanted to allow the fan to provide information the band could use, therefore we created an optional "Become a Fan of This Band" link in the Menu of the Media player. When this link is clicked, a person can choose at their discretion to enter any, all, or none of the following: birthday, age, name, hometown zip code.

Sensing there were things I did not know in regards to collecting info on the net, I called our lawyer and filled him in on what we wanted to do. Said lawyer told me that based on state and federal laws, we were required to use the specific legal language he provided.

And that is the reason for the language in the Terms & Conditions that you see on the TuneCore widget

That, and our nefarious plot to take over the world (and arm sharks with freakin' lazers)

On more serious note, its optional, not required, and if the Terms make you uncomfortable then do not provide your info.

I would rather have that language there and have fewer people sign up then not have the language and somehow have someone feel something happened that should not have."