According to tech site Engadget, three main changes in the service’s terms and conditions are prompting users to accuse it of invading their privacy. The first one refers to a new section in which states that Spotify can now ask you for information which is stored on your smartphone or tablet – photos, videos, contacts and the like. It also states that in some parts users should seek agreement from their contacts before sharing their information with Spotify.
This has raised privacy concerns not only amongst users, but also around the press, as Wired and Forbes writers questioned the intentions of Spotify in gathering this data. The company responded through the voice of CEO Daniel Ek explaining that this will be used in developing future features, such as personalized profile pictures (Spotify already uses Facebook profile pics for users who signed-up through the social media site) and playlist images, and even possibly video sharing and playback in the future.
The second change in the terms and conditions which caused uproar was one which has Spotify collecting GPS or Bluetooth data about the user’s location and specialized sensor data from phones which use tracking apps, such as ones which calculate the pace of your movement. The latter part is most likely related to Spotify Running, a new fitness app launched by the company which changes the rhythm of your music to your running pace. It was already in effect since the app launched most probably, and the policy change is meant to reflect it.
The GPS/Bluetooth location tracking though has to have been explained. Spotify was kind of vague about when this would be in effect, stating that it depends on user settings and the type of device. It might be possible that this is meant to combat illegal use of the app, as it is currently possible to use Spotify in non-eligible countries if used through a virtual private network.
Last but not least, the company expanded its section about interaction with third party applications, explaining more exactly what type of data it uses. Giving the example of Facebook, Spotify says that it collects from Facebook what users like on the platform. There is no specific reason given for this, but bear in mind the fact that this can be avoided by either not integrating Spotify and Facebook, or by changing the latter’s privacy settings with third party applications.
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