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Spotify’s new privacy policy paves the way for future features

by Jacob Kleinman | August 21, 2015August 21, 2015 9:20 am PDT


The Internet exploded in outrage on Friday over Spotify’s new privacy policy, which demanded sweeping access to the personal data on your phone without offering much of an explanation. CEO Daniel Ek quickly acknowledged the mistake though, and in a follow-up blog post he explains all the new features this policy will allow the company to add in the future.

For example, moving forward Spotify will be able to access the contacts saved to your phone. Ek explains that this will allow you to find friends and colleagues who you aren’t connected to on Facebook. He adds that Spotify will never scan or import your contacts with asking permission first.

The same goes for your location and photos. If you do give Spotify permission to access that data it could offer music recommendations based on where you are, and even keep you up to date on relevant local news. Your private pictures could be used to create personalized cover art for your playlists. It would also make changing your profile picture a lot easier.

Finally, the privacy policy also asks for access to your smartphone’s microphone. This could pave the way for a voice control feature in the future, though again the app will need to ask for direct permission first.

Overall it sounds like Spotify has some big plans for improving its service in the future. That’s smart considering the company now has to compete with new rivals like Apple Music and Tidal, though maybe next time the privacy policy itself should offer a more detailed explanation before simply asking you to sign your privacy away.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...