Spotify. Privacy Policy. Oxymoron.

Privacy_smallSo Spotify’s new “Privacy Policy” (an oxymoron by the way), dated Aug 17 2015, all of a sudden allows the company and possibly its partners to utilize things like media files and photos stored on your phone. “With your permission”, according to Spotify.

Some posts on the Internet claims “There’s nothing you can do about this.” and others say that “This is the price you pay for free and/or ad based services.” I disagree with both statements. One such post is WIRED.COM’s by Gordon Gottsegen: http://www.wired.com/2015/08/cant-squat-spotifys-eerie-new-privacy-policy

The second statement is interesting in itself because Spotify uses the same “Privacy Policy” (did I say this was an oxymoron?) for paying customers as they do for users of their “free” services. So it’s not the price we pay for free and/or ad based services. It’s the “price” we pay for using Spotify. Period.

The first statement is incorrect as well. I can think of two solutions:

  • Stop using Spotify. There are other services. If you have a ton of legally acquired music in your collection, walk on over to Google Music and upload some 25000 tracks to it and off you go. Or store the music on your device as mp3s or listen to streaming radio stations 🙂 I am by no means suggesting that Google knows any more about Privacy and Integrity than Spotify does.

(By the way, Sonos has Spotify support built-in if you’re a Premium user, I don’t think Spotify can get a hold of your images and contact data that way 🙂

Oxymoron_SmallOn with the show, so what is the big deal with giving up this particular piece of privacy?

Well for starters, it’s none of Spotify’s business what I store on my phone.

Maybe I have Spotify on my one and only smartphone that I also happen to use for business. So I’m in a project meeting, I shoot some snapshots of a whiteboard, and this becomes available to Spotify?!

Or I happen to have contacts in my address book that do not want their details shared with Spotify and Spotify make me responsible for obtaining that permission.

This is – of course – ridiculous.

I understand obvious data sharing, as in if you choose to connect your Facebook and Spotify accounts. I do not understand intrusive and unauthorized use of private data.

Note that Spotify claims that they will only use this information “with your permission”. They do not, however, state how they will obtain that permission. As is quite common these days, you sign away all your rights when you begin using a service and/or app. So perhaps they’ve already received said permission. It’s an extremely loaded construct from a legal point of view, and I’m quite sure Spotify has done this on purpose.

If you don’t have a problem with that, by all means, keep using Spotify.

If you do have a problem with it, maybe this post will help: Unsocial 2.0, keep your family jewels out of the privacy grinder

 

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