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Spotify apologizes for 'scary' privacy policy update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 23 Aug 2015 20:52 User comments (5)

Spotify apologizes for 'scary' privacy policy update Earlier this week, Spotify updated its privacy policy and it quickly angered and outraged users.
Under a section that read "Information Stored on Your Mobile Device," Spotify noted that "with your permission, we may collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files." As you can imagine, there was considerable outrage as to why a streaming music service would need your contacts or your photos so CEO Daniel Ek posted a new blog post to clear up the confusion.

The post in its entirety:

We are in the middle of rolling out new terms and conditions and privacy policy and they've caused a lot of confusion about what kind of information we access and what we do with it. We apologize for that. We should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean and how any information you choose to share will and will not be used.

We understand people's concerns about their personal information and are 100 percent committed to protecting our users' privacy and ensuring that you have control over the information you share.

So let me try and clear things up.

In our new privacy policy, we indicated that we may ask your permission to access new types of information, including photos, mobile device location, voice controls, and your contacts. Let me be crystal clear here: If you don't want to share this kind of information, you don't have to. We will ask for your express permission before accessing any of this data and we will only use it for specific purposes that will allow you to customize your Spotify experience.

Photos: We will never access your photos without explicit permission and we will never scan or import your photo library or camera roll. If you give us permission to access photos, we will only use or access images that you specifically choose to share. Those photos would only be used in ways you choose and control to create personalized cover art for a playlist or to change your profile image, for example.

Location: We will never gather or use the location of your mobile device without your explicit permission. We would use it to help personalize recommendations or to keep you up to date about music trending in your area. And if you choose to share location information but later change your mind, you will always have the ability to stop sharing.

Voice: We will never access your microphone without your permission. Many people like to use Spotify in a hands-free way, and we may build voice controls into future versions of the product that will allow you to skip tracks, or pause, or otherwise navigate the app. You will always have the ability to disable voice controls.

Contacts: We will never scan or import your contacts without your permission. Spotify is a social platform and many people like to share playlists and music they discover with their friends. In the future, we may want to give you the ability to find your friends on Spotify by searching for Spotify users in your contacts if you choose to do that.

Sharing: The Privacy Policy also mentions advertisers, rights holders and mobile networks. This is not new. With regard to mobile networks, some Spotify subscribers sign up through their mobile provider, which means some information is shared with them by necessity. We also share some data with our partners who help us with marketing and advertising efforts, but this information is de-identified your personal information is not shared with them.

Again, we have heard your concerns loud and clear. We are also going to update the new Privacy Policy in the coming weeks to better reflect what we have explained above. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know by emailing us at privacycomments@spotify.com We're listening to you and we take your concerns very seriously.

Tags: Spotify
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5 user comments

124.8.2015 0:06

once again we see why privacy agreements and terms of use are longer than "War and Peace" when we try to add an app.

unfortunately a great app tried to talk in words we could understand and it sounded like they wanted to steal our life

meanwhile companies like Micro$hit use oceans of legalese terminology to force us into unwanted updates ("but you agreed to our terms of use")

my question is: "Why does the joke only say '50 Lawyers'? Hmm?"


qazwiz is qazwiz everywhere. If you see me say HI!

224.8.2015 11:03

I can't disagree with that.

Still, it's nice to know exactly why they need these permissions. Though I think "location" is rather weird and unnecessary.

I think the whole EULA thing should be given a makeover. Simplified and internationally standardized because, yes, it's being used to obfuscate the process. I don't know of any other makers of product who can get away with, "we take no responsibility".

I was trying out the Minions Rush game on my phone when the next update wanted access to ALL my browser history amongst other inappropriate demands. It would not proceed otherwise. Needless to say I excoriated it... plenty of other stuff to play out there.

Needless to say, when I (very) briefly commented on this impertinence in the Playstore review section, guess what? my misgivings "mysteriously" failed to appear. Even after several attempts. Guess Google, and I suppose Apple, don't want attention like this drawn to their cash cows.


Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


DSE VZ300-
Zilog Z80 CPU, 32KB RAM (16K+16K cartridge), video processor 6847, 2KB video RAM, 16 colours (text mode), 5.25" FDD

324.8.2015 17:48

This is EXACTLY (partly) why I use Cyanogenmod, even though it has some annoying quirks and foibles: Finely granular, complete control over all permissions for every app, including system apps, if you like. You have the options for Allowed, Ignored, and Always Ask (the default), combined with the option to apply to every newly installed app. It's very, very nice to have.

"No, Mr. App, you DON'T need my contacts list. Piss off!"

If you goof and a given permission breaks an app you happen to like, you can change the settings any time, although that's happened exactly once ever in my case ^^ .

CM 12+ also comes with selinux set to "enforcing", which is FAR more secure in general.

Combine this with with the fact that, with Google Apps ("GApps") included - they are not by default with CM - my Android OS takes up roughly 1/3 the storage of the stock ROM, generally runs faster, allows me to tether/hotspot my phone for free, and so on, well...

Be aware though, it's NOT all perfect, by any means, and support greatly varies depending on your phone model. Some features may not work as well as the stock (or "near-stock") ROMs; the camera on my LG G2 d801 is a perfect example of this; the stock camera is amazingly good, but the CM12 version, well, not. Of course, I hardly use the camera myself, and this isn't true for all models, but definitely research the changes for your phone and your usage case!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Aug 2015 @ 17:51

48.9.2015 13:24

Originally posted by Jemborg:
I can't disagree with that.

Still, it's nice to know exactly why they need these permissions. Though I think "location" is rather weird and unnecessary.

I think the whole EULA thing should be given a makeover. Simplified and internationally standardized because, yes, it's being used to obfuscate the process. I don't know of any other makers of product who can get away with, "we take no responsibility".

I was trying out the Minions Rush game on my phone when the next update wanted access to ALL my browser history amongst other inappropriate demands. It would not proceed otherwise. Needless to say I excoriated it... plenty of other stuff to play out there.

Needless to say, when I (very) briefly commented on this impertinence in the Playstore review section, guess what? my misgivings "mysteriously" failed to appear. Even after several attempts. Guess Google, and I suppose Apple, don't want attention like this drawn to their cash cows.
you mentioned "location" well that is the one most likely to be used reciently.... not only to alllow others listeners nearby to get together (three ppl listening to same genree if musiv in a two block radius) but it will allow spotify, like many other companies, to sell "relevant ads"
Say you are walking/driving down street and the mall ahead has a music shop with a sale featuring your favorite artist... all of a sudden you hear "sale on ABBA albums in 500 feet turn right"


qazwiz is qazwiz everywhere. If you see me say HI!

59.9.2015 10:14

Yikes!

Say goodbye to discovering anything new. I mean, I hate being anal-yzed and being told what I should like.





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This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Sep 2015 @ 10:16

Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


DSE VZ300-
Zilog Z80 CPU, 32KB RAM (16K+16K cartridge), video processor 6847, 2KB video RAM, 16 colours (text mode), 5.25" FDD

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