Why Spotify is Bothering a Lot of People

A new privacy policy from Spotify introduced with little fanfare has sparked a backlash against the streaming music service, prompting an apology and clarification from the company CEO.

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.

Those new data collection efforts have already pushed some users to cancel their accounts, including Minecraft creator Markus Persson — whose searing objection to the new privacy policy even drew a response from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.

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, which can be found here, 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. Ek later clarified this this data would also be used within the Spotify app to tailor the service’s experience.

Read more here: http://mashable.com/2015/08/21/spotify-privacy-panic/