Microsoft Program Tracks User Info

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Microsoft's new version of its popular Media Player software is logging the songs and movies that customers play.

The company changed its privacy statement Wednesday to notify customers about the technology after inquiries from The Associated Press.

The system creates a list on each computer that could be a treasure for marketing companies, lawyers or others. Microsoft says it has no plans to sell the data collected by Media Player 8, which comes free with the Windows XP operating system. The company said last month it had sold more than 17 million copies of Windows XP.

"If you're watching DVDs you don't want your wife to know about, you might not want to give her your password," said David Caulton, Microsoft's lead program manager for Windows Media.

The media player has been bundled as a free addition to Windows for several years and allows users to play music CDs, DVD movies and digitally stored songs on their computers.

When a CD is played, the player downloads the disc name and titles for each song from a Web site licensed by Microsoft. That information is stored on a small file on each computer in the latest version of the software.

News source: Excite News

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