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Spotify is Spying on Your Facebook, Photos, Contacts, and GPS Location

Is anything safe in the digital age?
August 25, 2015, 3:50pm

Do you ever feel like you're being watched…through your ears? Streaming app Spotify recently unveiled its new privacy policy, leading to an uproar about a number of its more invasive practices.

As elucidated in Wired last week, Spotify may now "collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files." What does Spotify want with your dick pics, you may ask? Whatever it is, we hope it doesn't involve all of your contacts, which they also have access to.

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Further, Spotify will now know where you are, where you're going, and how fast you're getting there at any given time. The policy states: "…We may also collect information about your location based on, for example, your phone's GPS location…We may also collect sensor data (e.g., data about the speed of your movements, such as whether you are running, walking, or in transit)."

If you listen to Bastille, you should probably just de-friend us anyway.

The final policy update increases the app's access to third party applications, particularly Facebook. "You may integrate your Spotify account with Third Party Applications. If you do, we may receive similar information related to your interactions with the Service on the Third Party Application, as well as information about your publicly available activity on the Third Party Application. This includes, for example, your 'Likes' and posts on Facebook."

Information gathering and data mining have become essential sources of revenue and informational capital for freeware apps, and Spotify's new policies are only a slight expansion of the access the app has already dug up into your personal information. As exemplified by the recent Ashley Madison hacking scandal, it's not what Spotify may do with this information that is most troubling, rather whose hands this information may go if and when the app is compromised.

A number of the above encroachments can be turned off by going to your privacy setting within the app. We'd encourage doing so. Happy streaming!