Spotify's new privacy policy gets all up in your business

Spotify wants to cozy up to you and find out more about what you do, where you go, who your contacts are. Does that make you uncomfortable

The streaming music service updated its privacy policy for users in the U.K. on Thursday with some major changes, first noticed by Forbes. Now Spotify is requesting access to other parts of your phone, like your contacts, your photos, your “media files” (though it doesn’t specify which ones), and your phone’s sensors. Here are the relevant parts:

There are a few reasons why Spotify might want deeper access to your device, and it’s not just advertising-related. The location and sensor data access could signify plans to develop more features similar to Running, which takes your phone’s motion into account to determine your pace so it can match songs with the same beats per minute. It’s not so clear why Spotify would need access to your contacts and photos, but a company spokesperson told Forbes that the data “helps us to tailor improved experiences to our users, and build new and personalized products for the future.”

Spotify also pointed to its new (and beloved) Discover Weekly personalized playlist as an example of the kinds of features it plans to add down the line.

The impact on you: It’s important to note that these changes haven’t gone into effect in the U.S., where Spotify’s privacy policy hasn’t changed since April 2014. It’s unclear if Spotify will soon overhaul its privacy policy for American listeners as well, but as the company ramps up efforts to stay competitive with Apple Music, you can expect more of those personalized features. And Spotify will definitely need to know more about you to pull that off.


Caitlin McGarry

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