Earlier this week, Spotify quietly announced that it plans to begin looking through your phone, tracking your location and even following your activity on Facebook in an effort to provide a more personalized experience.
With concern mounting, Ek issued a blog post entitled “Sorry.” that sought to clarify the company’s new policies. He wrote that users would have to give permission for Spotify to access data, which would then only be used to improve user experience.
He did not, however, deny that the company was seeking to access this type of data from its users.
“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,” he said.
The new policy, includes a variety of new provisions that would allow Spotify to collect personal data about its users. Almost every app on a smartphone collects data on users, with many others also sharing some of that information depending on privacy measures and permissions.
Spotify’s requests, however, appear to go beyond usual data collection. Among the most intrusive is Spotify’s desire to access data on people’s smartphones, including “contacts photos and media files.” Spotify will ask permission from users to do so.
In addition to the smartphone data, Spotify is looking to “collect information about your location based on, for example, your phone’s GPS location or other forms of locating mobile devices.” This will also depend on whether a user has engaged location share in the settings of his or her smartphone.
Spotify said in its original blog post about the changes that the new policy was rolling out over the next few weeks in an effort to be “open and transparent as possible when it comes to how we describe our business, how we work with advertisers, what information we collect, and what we do with it.”
The post noted that Spotify would “provide more clarity” about how it users data and shares it with other businesses, indicating that the company may have already been engaged in these practices.
The blog post finished by noting that data security and privacy “is — and will remain — Spotify’s highest priority.” That has done little to reassure some users.
Others felt that the outrage over the policy had been overblown, but criticized Spotify for failing to plainly explain the changes to users.
The controversy comes at a difficult time for Spotify, which has been feeling pressure from the music industry and competition like Apple’s new streaming music service. Financials that leaked early in 2015 showed that the company remains a ways from profitability despite increasing its subscriber base.
Greater access to user information would give Spotify a greater wealth of targeting capabilities, something that can help attract more and higher-paying advertisers. At last count, Spotify has 55 million active users that do not pay for the service and are served ads by the company.
Source | www.mashable.com