Spotify Demands That it Stores Your Photos, Contacts, Voice, Location and How Fast You Walk

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Whenever we complain about a new privacy policy on the Internet it always feel a little hypocritical, because while we’ll bemoan a site for infringing upon our human rights, we’ll simultaneously hand everything over to Facebook without so much as a second thought. But with that being said, Spotify’s new privacy policy has really made me do a double take given how incredibly intrusive it is, with it over-stepping the mark on several instances by informing us that it will be collecting data it really has no reason to withhold, with agreeing to it also being mandatory if you wish to keep using the service.

Here’s the first warning sign, taken from the “Information We Collect” section of the new policy:

“With your permission, we may collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files. Local law may require that you seek the consent of your contacts to provide their personal information to Spotify, which may use that information for the purposes specified in this Privacy Policy.”

So not only does this mean that Spotify is now storing our photos and media files for no apparent reason, but it is also storing the information of our contacts. Think about that for a second: this means that even if you don’t personally have a Spotify account, if your friend does and agrees to this new policy, your contact information will now be stored by Spotify. The streaming platform will also record and store your voice commands, presumably so it can listen to the soothing, dulcet tones of your voice when it goes to bed at night.

Here’s another excerpt from the privacy policy in which it is revealed that the service will now store your location and your fucking movement speed:

“Depending on the type of device that you use to interact with the Service and your settings, we may also collect information about your location based on, for example, your phone’s GPS location or other forms of locating mobile devices (e.g., Bluetooth). We may also collect sensor data (e.g., data about the speed of your movements, such as whether you are running, walking, or in transit).”

I’m imagining a meeting in Spotify HQ in which a bunch of men in suits argue over what is missing from the service, before one of them jumps to his feet, slams his fists down on the table and bemoans how they’ll never find out about what their customers want if they don’t track the speed of their movement on a day-to-day basis. “How will we ever find out about their music taste if we don’t know what percentage of the day they spend jogging?!” he cries, before they all agree that they must issue a new privacy policy in which they’ll get to find out exactly that.

The policy also reveals how it will find out what you’ve been doing on third-party applications such as Facebook:

“You may integrate your Spotify account with Third Party Applications. If you do, we may receive similar information related to your interactions with the Service on the Third Party Application, as well as information about your publicly available activity on the Third Party Application. This includes, for example, your “Like”s and posts on Facebook.”

And it wouldn’t be a privacy policy in 2015 if it didn’t reveal how it will be passing over your information to advertisers: 

“We may share information with advertising partners in order to send you promotional communications about Spotify or to show you more tailored content, including relevant advertising for products and services that may be of interest to you, and to understand how users interact with advertisements. The information we share is in a de-identified format (for example, through the use of hashing) that does not personally identify you.”

Unfortunately if you don’t want to agree to have all this information of yours exchange hands, then the only option you have is to stop using Spotify. Complaints can be filed to the email address [email protected], though, so hopefully the company takes note of the uproar (and their flooded inbox) and decides to backtrack on a few of these policies in the near future.