Spotify tries to clarify its new terms without scaring away customers

Music streaming service Spotify recently announced it would be changing its terms of service and stressed it would be better. However, what followed apparently scared users and now the company is trying to explain what it means — damage control mode.

In a blog post simply titled “Sorry“, CEO David Ek attempts to allay fears. Spotify apparently was getting a lot of negative feedback due to the confusion over what various parts of these conditions mean.

“In our new privacy policy, we indicated that we may ask your permission to access new types of information, including photos, mobile device location, voice controls, and your contacts. Let me be crystal clear here: 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”, Ek states.

He then proceeds through various things. For instance he promises that Spotify will only access photos the user has given permission for. And that these images can be picked by the customer, not just a big upload of the whole camera roll.

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Location, he explains, also requires user permission and will only be used to alert the customer to trending music in their area. You can also elect to change your mind on sharing later if you opted in at all.

When it comes to voice, Ek points out “We will never access your microphone without your permission. Many people like to use Spotify in a hands-free way, and we may build voice controls into future versions of the product that will allow you to skip tracks, or pause, or otherwise navigate the app. You will always have the ability to disable voice controls”.

As for contacts, it also requires user permission and will be used for sharing playlists with friends who are also on the service.

Ek attempts to make things sound much less terrifying to users. It remains to be seen if he succeeds or not. The sad fact is that most people don’t read these things, they just click “OK”. Apparently, in this case, enough read it to warrant an explanation.


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Spotify tries to clarify its new terms without scaring away customers


Alan Buckingham


Spotify CEO Daniel Ek explains what recent privacy policy changes mean for customers.

About Alan Buckingham

Alan is an avid fan of all things technology, including Microsoft, Android, Google, and more. When not writing about or using gadgets and software, he can be found on the trails hiking or mountain biking. More of his work can be read at Making Windows Easy. You can reach him on Google+ as well.

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