This is no secret. By right-clicking on any iTunes-purchased track and then clicking on the “info” tab, customers will see the technical information attached to the file, including the encoding bit rate and file size. Also imbedded in the file is the customer’s name and e-mail address.

And that’s what the latest fuss is about. Even though there are no copy restrictions on iTunes Plus tracks, some say the inclusion of customers’ names and e-mail addresses constitutes invasion of privacy.

Of course, the music industry’s war on piracy is involved, with speculation running rampant that the information might be used to trace any iTunes-purchased tracks swapped via peer-to-peer file trading networks.

So far, Apple hasn’t commented on the matter, and it might actually be confused as to why one of its standard iTunes business practices is suddenly under attack. However, while the computer / consumer electronics company has remained mum, others have had plenty to say about Apple’s policy.

“DRM prevented us from playing the music we have purchased on all of our devices. We asked that this be removed and we got what we were looking for, said blogger Erica Sadun. “But I’m on the fence in terms of the privacy issues. Consumers should always know what they’re getting into.”

So far, one of the biggest online digital rights activist organizations –Electronic Frontier Foundation – has yet to take a stand on the matter, but did question why Apple didn’t encrypt the information in the first place.

“It just seems careless and unwise for somebody like Apple to start planting this kind of personal information without protection in the files,” said EFF attorney Fred Von Lohmann. “It’s not as bad as leaking your credit card number or your Social Security number, but it’s still a pretty careless security leak.”

But suspicious minds weren’t the only ones pondering iTunes’ personal information policies as industry watchers offered their own reasons for the inclusion of names and e-mail addresses in iTunes purchases.

“I think it’s more of a way of retaining a proof of purchase,” said JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg. “DRM-free means I’m not restricted from putting the songs on other devices anymore, but it doesn’t give users a license for piracy.”