If you’re like hundreds of thousands of other users, you got this error message while you had iTunes Music running on your computer recently. We’re not sure if this error message also happens on mobile devices.
The error message reads, “Unable to verify the identity of the server ‘genius.itunes.apple.com’. The certificate for this server is invalid.”
A quick check at SSLShopper.com revealed that the URI genius.itunes.apple.com has a valid SSL certificate as of 2021-04-13.
However, the genius.itunes.apple.com website redirected us to click.linksynergy.com whose SSL certificate said that it was owned by Rakuten, the online shopping website.
Their SSL certificate was also valid, so it’s possible that the error message was a red herring.
Unfortunately, the redirect link was broken because it was just an error page with the words “bad merchant”. If you open Chrome Dev Tools, there isn’t much more information.
After you click the OK on the error message, the popup goes away and everything seems fine.
The question is, why is iTunes using Link Synergy to do what appears to be affiliate marketing with Rakuten? And, why did the error message pop up when we weren’t even on the app or playing music?
If you have any answers, please leave them in the comments.