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Spotify’s Daniel Ek apologises for Spotify privacy debacle

Spotify Running launch

Spotify has issued a blog post clarifying its new privacy policy stance following a user backlash

Spotify caused a furore earlier today when it announced a new privacy policy requesting permission to “collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files.” This led a number of Spotify users to express outrage at the new policy terms especially as Spotify doesn’t want to merely stop there. “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”, the company now states.

Almost inviting the backlash, the privacy policy concludes with “If you don’t agree with the terms of this privacy policy, then please don’t use the service.” As such, it came as no surprise when high-profile users including Minecraft creator, Markus Persson, more commonly known as @Notch, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the new terms. What resulted was some back and forth between Persson and Spotify’s chief executive, Daniel Ek.

Spotify has now published a blog post trying to clarify its stance around privacy and apologising for the confusion, stating “We should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean and how any information you choose to share will – and will not – be used.” Importantly, the blog post makes it clear that you will have to volunteer over this data. “If you don’t want to share this kind of information, you don’t have to. We will ask for your express permission before accessing any of this data – and we will only use it for specific purposes that will allow you to customize your Spotify experience.”

While the added clarification is certainly helpful, much of the earlier furore felt to me like a storm in a teacup. Spotify requesting more information on its user isn’t really anything new and you’ll likely find similar terms in the user agreement and privacy policies of many of the services you already use, especially anything that looks to provide a more tailored experience. The fact that you can opt to not volunteer over your information might go some way to quelling some of the outrage but let us know how you feel in the comments below or you can also drop Spotify an email at

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