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Spotify's revised privacy policy grants permission to collect your photos, videos, location and more

By Shawn Knight
Aug 20, 2015
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  1. Privacy policy updates are a common occurrence and let’s face it, most of us never bother reading through them. Spotify’s revised privacy policy, however, is loaded with questionable and downright creepy changes that are virtually impossible to ignore.

    Under the “information we collect” section, Spotify notes that it may collect information stored on your mobile device such as contacts, photos or media files. Depending on the type of device and your settings, Spotify may also collect information about your location based on your phone’s GPS location or other methods such as Bluetooth.

    The streaming music provider says it may also harvest sensor data to, for example, determine whether you are running, walking or in transit.

    In another section, Spotify mentions that it may gather voice commands and also the date and time of users’ requests and searches. The company further notes that information about you that is collected from its other service providers and partners isn't off-limits.

    The “marketing and advertising” section claims that information it shares about you to advertising partners is done so in a de-identified format.

    Spotify issued the following response to Forbes via e-mail:

    Spotify is constantly innovating and evolving its service to deliver the best possible experience for our users. This means delivering the perfect recommendations for every moment, and helping you to enjoy, discover and share more music than ever before.

    The data accessed simply helps us to tailor improved experiences to our users, and build new and personalized products for the future. Recent new features include Spotify Running, which matches the BPM of your music to the pace of your run, or the new Discover Weekly feature, which curates a weekly playlist based on your tastes.

    Throughout, the privacy and security of our customers’ data is – and will remain – Spotify’s highest priority.

    Curiously enough, as of writing, the questionable collection practices are only present in the UK version of Spotify’s privacy policy. The US version makes no mention of the red flag behavior. It’s entirely possible that Spotify simply hasn’t gotten around to updating it yet.

    The publication wonders out loud whether the recent launch of Apple Music has prompted the dragnet of data collection for the purpose of selling it to advertisers to increase revenue. What’s also annoying is the fact that the data grab impacts both paying and freemium users.

    Unsurprisingly, some have already taken to Twitter to publically voice their opinion on the matter. Given the backlash, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant number of people cancel their memberships and jump ship to a different provider.

    Above all else, I can’t help but wonder why Spotify needs access to your photos and videos.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 962   +205

    Easy to ignore... just don't use Spotify :)
     
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  3. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    Despite any assurances, a bankruptcy or even takeover could result in all your privacy being available to the marketing vultures - though probably moreso outside the EU.

    Anything collected will probably be used.

    How could playing songs be worth that?
     
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    Do they also want to know how many squares of toilet paper you use when you wipe?
    And after you've begrudgingly agreed to their T's & C's, digitally signed on the cyber line you'll read next week that the site has been hacked and hackers have made off with everyone's personal info.
     
  5. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 289   +92

    I always check the permissions of a new or updated app and if it needs voice/video or access to files where it shouldn't need them, I just don't install it. Even if it's something that I really want. Which Spotify isn't.
    Might be different if I was a paid subscriber though!
     
  6. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    Be worth what? All that information is already out there one way or the other.
     
  7. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 215   +126

    Stop apologizing and revert the changes back to how it was before people got mad. And why would you like someone pushing you music others listen in your area? Youtube and google play does that and it annoys me so much. Also, if friend watches some stupid video on your computer then your phone (google play) gets filled with annoying commercials for them witch prevent you from actually finding something you want. Haven't found a way to reset ad information.
     

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