iTunes TOS amended with Touch ID, Popular Near Me clarification

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In another sign of the imminent iOS 7 release, Apple has just released iTunes 11.1 for Mac and Windows with support for iOS 7 devices and installations, also bringing out new features like iTunes Radio, Podcast Stations and Genius Shuffle.

As part of the release – and consistent with Apple’s history – the company has updated the iTunes Terms & Conditions. The document has been amended with additional information regarding authenticating your account for purchases and automatic delivery of app updates, in addition to the previously unknown tidbits about the App Store’s Popular Near Me feature…

As I previously explained in my ‘A closer look at App Store in iOS 7’ article, the Popular Near Me feature is a new location-based app discovery option. After hitting the Near Me tab in the iOS 7 App Store and approving access to your location, the App Store will list all popular apps nearby.

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But how does exactly Apple determine which apps are popular near you, besides using your location? Turns out enabling the feature shares some interesting usage stats with Apple.

Just like Genius for Apps, enabling Popular Near Me by approving the feature’s access to the iOS Location Services lets Apple automatically collect information “from time to time”, per terms of service.

What kind of information?

How about “your time spent with each App Store Product and the number of times each App Store Product is launched”. Appeasing to privacy freaks, Apple notes this information is anonymized so it can’t be associated with your name or iTunes Store account.

Apple uses this information – and other data, including your App Store download and purchase history – to power the Popular Near Me feature and provide personalized recommendations through the Genius for Apps feature.

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We also know from before that Apple is aggregating similar information from other users and combine it with “your iTunes Store purchase history data, your App Store download data, aggregated App Store Product download data from other users, and other information like customer ratings of App Store Products” to power the Genius for Apps and Popular Near Me features.

If you’re not comfortable with Apple collecting this data, opt out by turning off the Genius feature from the App Store Account page on each of your devices and don’t use the Popular Near Me feature.

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Apple also mentions Touch ID in regard to authorizing your iTunes purchases with your print:

In order to purchase and download iTunes Products from the iTunes Service, you must enter your Apple ID and password or use Touch ID to authenticate your Account for purchases.

Once you have authenticated your Account using your Apple ID and password, you will not need to authenticate again for fifteen minutes on your computer or iOS Device; you can choose to allow your computer or Apple TV to remember your password to remain authenticated. 

As for the automatic delivery of app updates in iOS 7, Apple makes it clear you may auto-download updates or download previously-purchased apps on up to ten devices authorized with the same iTunes account, “provided no more than five are iTunes-authorized computers”.

Again, you may have known some of this from before, this post just details what data Apple gathers on you to power the iOS 7 App Store Popular Near Me feature.