In the post, Ek paints it as a misunderstanding of what Spotify was trying to do by hoovering up your photos, contacts, voice commands and location, and then sharing that information with advertisers and businesses. He said:
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.
We understand people’s concerns about their personal information and are 100 per cent committed to protecting our users’ privacy and ensuring that you have control over the information you share.
Ek reiterated the information that Spotify is looking for and offered the reassurance that: “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 customise your Spotify experience.”
In doing so, he gave an insight into the plans the company has: “Spotify is a social platform and many people like to share playlists and music they discover with their friends. In the future, we may want to give you the ability to find your friends on Spotify by searching for Spotify users in your contacts if you choose to do that.”
Ek said that information shared with business partners would be anonymised. This is quite a concession, as most advertisers would want to target people.
Throughout the post, Ek emphasised that Spotify will not cull any data without explicit permission, but he does not say how that explicit permission would be obtained. If it’s a tick box at the end of pages and pages of legalease which no right thinking person would scroll through on a phone, it’s highly unlikely that anyone would read what they have given permission for. If one tick-box gives blanket permission and switches all the data gathering on it’s not far enough removed from the evil data mining users are strongly objecting to. ®