Spotify angers users with privacy policy changes

Spotify’s CEO has apologised, after recent changes to the music streaming service’s privacy policy angered customers

  • Monday, August 24th, 2015

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek offered an apology to users for not "communicating" changes to the music streaming service's privacy policy in the best possible way

The CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, told users he was sorry about the company’s new terms and conditions and privacy policy, which will permit the music-streaming service to collect customers’ photos, contacts, GPS location, voice controls, and other multimedia files.

In the blog post, he admitted that the rolling out of the new policy had “caused a lot of confusion” around the type of information the company would access and what it would be used for.

The recent changes the company has made to its privacy policy could see a number of users jumping ship in a bid to protect their personal information

“We apologise for that”, said 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”.

He then attempted to “clear things up”, explaining how the new policy may ask customers to grant Spotify access to their personal information, but users are free to opt out if they wish.

“Let me be crystal clear here: If you don’t want to share this kind of information, you don’t have to”, wrote Ek.“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.”

Currently, the music-streaming service has over 75m active users, with 20m of that number paying $10 per month for its premium service. However, the recent changes the company has made to its privacy policy could see a number of users jumping ship in a bid to protect their personal information.

Markus Persson, the creator of popular video game Minecraft, has already ended his subscription to the music-streaming service, and even tweeted Spotify to say: “As a consumer, I’ve always loved your service. You’re the reason I stopped pirating music. Please consider not being evil.”

Although Spotify has issued an apology to its customers and attempted to clarify the changes it has not shown any signs of overturning them. It will be interesting to see if this decision leads to the company experiencing a fall in membership over the coming months.