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Spotify fixes controversial privacy policy with language you can understand – here’s what you need to know

Published Sep 4th, 2015 7:45AM EDT
Spotify Privacy Policy Update

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Two weeks ago, Spotify updated its privacy policy with language that ignited a wave of backlash from faithful users, as the company almost suggested it’ll collect even more data about you and use it for different purposes, some related to new Spotify features and others potentially related to advertising. The company, via its CEO, immediately explained that it’ll get that data only if you agree to hand it over, putting to rest the privacy-related concerns.

However, Spotify made new changes to its privacy policy, further clarifying the language.

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The new privacy policy is virtually similar to the last one, Engadget said, but includes a section at the beginning that explains things “in plain language.”

The company says there are two categories of data it collects from you, including data it must have in order for you to use Spotify, like your name, IP address, music you listen to, and data that lets it offer additional features – or the part that got it in trouble the last time around.

Spotify explicitly says that it won’t receive any of the information in that second category of personal data it can collect unless you expressly choose to share it. Here are some examples, as listed in the new privacy policy:

  • Your specific location: We will never gather or use your specific device location without first getting your explicit permission. This information enables us to create collaborative listening experiences (only with others who have also given permission), and to provide even better recommendations about locally popular music, live venues, and concerts.
  • Your photos: We will only access images that you specifically choose, and we will never scan or import your photo library or camera roll. This allows you to choose individual pictures to change your profile picture or create cover art for a playlist. You can stop sharing photos and revoke access at any time.
  • Your contacts: We will never scan or import your contacts unless you ask us to. If you choose to do so, we will only use your contact information to help you find friends or contacts who use Spotify.
  • Your microphone: We will never access or use your microphone unless you give us explicit permission. This could enable you to control Spotify with your voice, and you will alway have the ability to disable access to the microphone.
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.