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:

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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā

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


Tele2 i ett nötskal, Sveriges sämsta kundtjänst

Vi har anv√§nt oss av Tele2 ganska l√§nge. Vi har inga st√∂rre issues med t√§ckning och/eller sj√§lva n√§ttj√§nsterna (GSM/3G/4G/osv). N√§r det kommer till Kundtj√§nst s√• √§r v√•r erfarenhet att Tele2 l√§tt skulle kunna placera sig i topp p√• listan √∂ver f√∂retag med s√§mst kundtj√§nst. Vad som √§r v√§rre √§r att Tele2 aldrig g√∂r fel. OM de, mot f√∂rmodan, g√∂r fel s√• kan “de inget g√∂ra.” Med andra ord, redan fr√•n b√∂rjan har man inst√§llningen att man inte har n√•got ansvar, alls.

S√• nu hade vi best√§llt √§nnu ett abonnemag. Vi fick SIM-kortet, som skulle vara aktiverat 2012-11-14. N√§r vi tv√• dagar senare f√∂rs√∂kte anv√§nda kortet s√• gick det inte. Vi ringde till Tele2:s kundtj√§nst och fr√•gade vad problemet var. Vi fick d√• besked att en “Josefin Andersson” hade ringt in och sagt att hon f√•tt SIM-kortet men att det m√•ste ha skickats fel. Hon hade uppgivit det telefonnummer som var kopplat till det nya abonnemanget vi best√§llt. Tele2 avaktiverade d√• omedelbart det nya kortet och skickade ut √§nnu ett till oss.

Ingen √•terkoppling gjordes till oss. “Josefin Andersson” finns inte med bland v√•ra kontakter p√• f√∂retaget (och arbetar inte heller h√§r). Den enda referens som “Josefin” uppgav var enligt Tele2 det mobilnummer som tillh√∂r det nya abonnemanget. Man fr√•gade allts√• inte ens om det l√•nga SIM-kortsnummer som finns tryckt p√• plastkortet man f√•r.

Sannolikheten att “Josefin” f√•tt v√•rat kort k√§nns begr√§nsad f√∂r att a) det skickades till den Boxadress som finns registrerad p√• v√•rat f√∂retag hos Tele2, b) Det √§r ett helt nytt nummer som “Josefin” f√∂rmodligen inte alls uppgav och c) F√∂rs√§ndelsen var obruten n√§r vi h√§mtade posten fr√•n v√•r box.

Jag fr√•gade Tele2 om jag kunde ringa in som vem som helst och be dem skicka ett nytt SIM-kort f√∂r godtyckligt nummer, bara f√∂r att j√§vlas (iom att de st√• st√§nger av det gamla SIM-kortet). Till svar fick jag att “Nej, det g√•r inte, vi har rutiner f√∂r att hantera detta s√• att det blir s√§kert och tryggt f√∂r v√•ra kunder.”

Tidigare har Tele2 lyckats få telefonnummer att försvinna när vi aktiverat hemligt nummer på något abonnemang, få SMS/MMS att sluta fungera vid andra förändringar samt kopplat samtal till ett nummer till en helt annan mobiltelefon. Det är inte raketforskning vi pratar om, men tydligen så är det lätt att hamna fel i Tele2:s Excel-blad med kund- och abonnemangslistor.

jQueryMobile or “Mobile site” selection sets

Using jQueryMobile for a fairly lightweight “mobile site”, I wonder what all you experts say about selection sets. A (long) list of countries for example. To prevent excessive delays, I now split country selection in two screens. The first one shows A-√Ė (A-Z for you English-speaking people), if I tap on B, the next screen shows a list of countries starting with B. Hitting the back button brings me back to A-√Ė (A-Z), selecting a country takes me to.

It feels right, and it doesn’t transfer massive amounts of data that a) isn’t used half of the time, and b) doesn’t take time to render on slower mobile devices.

I’m not too concerned with database performance on the server for this particular selection set since the SQL query is static and resides in the cache 99.5% of the time.