Spotify CEO tries to clear up privacy policy confusion

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In a post on Spotify’s site, CEO Daniel Ek has offered his apologies for the recent confusion caused by privacy policy updates and has tried to address concerns of the service’s users while also stating that they are 100 per cent committed to protecting users’ privacy.

Spotify updated its privacy policy and though many would just scroll right through and click on accept, curios Forbes writer Thomas Fox-Brewster checked the policy for the exact updates and found that the updated policy states that the company may collect personal information such as contacts, photos, media files, location data, and even sensor data. The update to the policy was dubbed bizarre because there was no indication about the purpose of collection this information.

News about changes to the policy went viral and there was a huge outcry many even claiming that they will be ending their subscriptions and moving to other services.

In what can be dubbed as a damage control move, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has penned a post on company’s site extending his apologies for the confusion.

“We are in the middle of rolling out new terms and conditions and privacy policy and they’ve caused a lot of confusion about what kind of information we access and what we do with it. We apologize for that.” notes Ek.

“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.”

In a bid to clear things up, Ek has provided reasons why they intend to collect the information they have mentioned in the updated privacy policy. Ek stressed that if users don’t intend to share personal information as specified in the privacy policy, they don’t need 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 adds.

Ek notes that Spotify will never access photos without explicit permission and will never scan or import your photo library or camera roll. If a user gives permission to access photos, Spotify will only use or access images that have been specifically chosen by the user to share. Further they will only use the photos in a way that the user as specified – to create personalized cover art for a playlist or as profile image – giving users absolute control over their photos.

As far as location data is concerned, Ek said that they will never gather or use the location data without your explicit permission and in case a user does agree to share that information, it will be used to provide personalized recommendations to the user or to keep them up to date with music trends in that area.

In case of contacts, Ek notes that as Spotify is a social platform and many people like to share playlists and music they discover with their friends, they are looking to provide a feature that will enable users to find their friends on Spotify by searching for Spotify users in their contacts.

Ek similarly provides clarification about Voice, and Sharing as well. He added that they will be updating the new Privacy Policy in the coming weeks to better reflect what they have explained.