The apology was posted in the form of a blog post on the company’s website, in which the chief executive shed light over some controversially worded update. Addressing user confusion over what Spotify will be able to access and what not, Ek reaffirmed the company’s commitment to upholding and protecting user privacy.
Maybe the most criticized change was one which added the possibility of Spotify accessing the user’s photos, location and contacts from his or her mobile device, as even though it stated that it requested user approval, it was vague in what types of information it will actually access and how is it going to use it.
The blog post settles the fact that none of this information will be taken by Spotify without user permission. The application will ask for it before accessing this information, and it will also only use it for customizing the “Spotify experience” and not for marketing, as some users feared.
Going into detail, Ek affirmed that photos will never be scanned and photo libraries will never be imported should the user grant application permission to access them. Moreover, users will choose exactly which photos he/she wants to share with the app, and will also be able to control the way in which they are used entirely – for example, posting an image to a playlist.
As far as location tracking goes, it’s the same story. The app will access GPS tracking if the user offers explicit permission (which was actually not stated in the updated terms and conditions), and it will be used in offering personalized recommendations based on what’s trending in the area. This can be disabled at any time.
The same goes for voice scanning and contacts sharing. Microphone recordings could be used in the future for voice controls, a seemingly neat feature which allows you to order the app in a hands free manner. Contacts importing will be used to expand current sharing features so that you may share playlists and songs with friends.
Last but not least, the blog post addresses the updated policy on sharing information with third parties. This apparently limits to some type of information which needs to be shared with mobile providers, for users who share up for the service with the latter. The service also shares marketing information in a non-identified manner with commercial partners – meaning that user personal info is not part of it.
Image Source: Rolling Stone