The music streaming platform Spotify collects all activity related data that the user interprets: which songs he listens to, which users he follows, which playlists he creates, to which podcast a subscription is activated…
Spotify stores information of all of its users’ activities, using it to earn revenue through advertising and other third-party agreements
What Spotify does next with that data isn’t easy to know, though admittedly it’s explained generically and not conclusively in the terms and conditions of use. Like other platforms and social networks, such as YouTube or Facebook, these are data that end up being used to obtain revenue from third-party companies or advertising campaigns.
This endless text that all users declare to have read and with which they agree during account activation and that no one has probably ever read, in practice, confirms that consent is given, by registering an account with Spotify, that such data may be usedbut this comprehensive record of user activity on this streaming platform may also be limited.
However, some of the data that Spotify collects from its users is strictly necessary for the proper functioning of the service: username, e-mail address, billing data (for users of the paid version) as well as data related to the service himself. device. These are data which, in any case, must be treated by the platform with the utmost rigor to protect the privacy of users.
Worse, it is more complicated to justify the need for Spotify to manage data such as location, interests, tastes and personal preferences, information from the motion and orientation sensors of the smartphone… or the so-called “ streaming history”: a complete list of songs listened to, how many times they were played, the time of day they were listened to…
Spotify specifies that it collects information to be able to “deduce (or understand) the interests and preferences” of the user in order to use them for advertising or marketing purposes with partners. With this you get display advertisements relevant to the user, depending on the interests of the user. For their peace of mind, it is also pointed out that all kinds of precautions are taken to protect user privacy, providing full transparency through the Spotify Privacy Center.
The influence it can have against deliver relevant advertisements, know the music that’s playing, says India McKinney, director of federal affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation, an American non-profit organization that defends privacy, freedom of expression and the technological innovation). According to McKinney “after playing many songs about broken hearts and unrequited love, the algorithm of Spotify will show ads for chocolate bars or dating apps“.
From Spotify, it is alleged that the platform does not interfere in the emotional states of its users based on their musical preferences, but based on the analysis of their activity, advertisers can adjust advertising insertions which are displayed.
How to Protect Your Privacy on Spotify
Luckily for those worried about this issue, Spotify itself has implemented a mechanism to limit the data manipulated by the platform. A privacy protection that can be achieved by following these steps:
-To access to the Spotify account.
-Walk in in the “Profile – Account” menu located at the top right.
-To go to “Privacy Settings” in the left menu.
-Disable “Process my personal data for personalized advertising” at the bottom of the menu.
-Uncheck the option that allows Spotify to process data from Facebook, which will prevent data sharing between the two platforms, except those that allow access to Spotify using the Facebook account ID .
This will limit user data processed by Spotifyand which are shared with advertisers and marketing companies.