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Spotify has finally explained why it's looking for more of your data

After heavy criticism for its new privacy policy, it has updated it to include a plain language explanation.

Spotify CEO Daniel ek at a SXSW conference keynote.
Spotify CEO Daniel ek at a SXSW conference keynote.
Image: William Philpott/Press Association Images

WHEN SPOTIFY UPDATED its privacy policy a fortnight ago, it was heavily criticised by users for overstepping the mark and requesting more information from users without properly explaining why.

In response, it has updated its policy to include a plain language version explaining what data it uses and said it will be “clear with you about how and when we might share information”.

Essentially, it’s an introduction which explains what data it needs to ensure both main and optional features work.

“Broadly speaking, there are two categories of information we collect”, says the policy. “1) information that we must have in order for you to use Spotify; and 2) information that we can use to provide additional features and improved experiences if you choose to share that information”.

Acceptance of our Privacy Policy does not mean you have granted us permission to access or use information in the second category; we’re just explaining to you that one day we might ask you for that permission.

The first category includes general details like registration information, your activity (so it can recommend songs and playlists) and general location (so it knows what country you’re in).

The second category concerns optional features and goes into detail about why it would require access specific things like photos (if you wanted to change your profile photo or create cover art for a playlist), contacts (help find friends who use Spotify), microphone (to use voice controls) and specific location (create ‘collaborative listening experiences’ and highlight local events).

daniel-industrial-background Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. Source: Spotify

Its CEO and founder Daniel Ek said the updated policy is “intended to be a clear statement of our approach and principles about privacy”.

We hope it provides a healthy dose of clarity and context too. Yes, we still need to provide greater detail in the body of the policy, but those details are, and will always be, in keeping with the fundamental privacy principles we outline in the Introduction.

The full privacy policy is still filled with legal terms and jargon so there is no change there, but those who accepted the new policy already will be covered by this update when it’s rolled out.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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