RealNetworks steps in it, part two

— 12:24 AM on November 8, 1999

You'll recall that last Monday it was revealed RealNetworks' RealJukebox product was using a GUID (globally unique identifier) to track the listening habits of those using the product. Well, it just gets better. According to a Wired article, an analysis of the company's RealPlayer shows that it too transmits a GUID. Users are assigned a GUID when they register the software, and it is then transmitted every time they use the software to listen to an audio stream or watch a video stream. This is potentially even stickier than the RealJukebox situation simply because of the sheer number of copies of RealPlayer out there: over 69 million registered copies, according to Wired. Every copy in use would have to be updated to solve the privacy issue. According to RealNetworks, an updated version of the player, which eliminates transmission of the GUID, will be available today.

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