Entertainment

Spotify's changes to its terms of service have been met with anger

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By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

August 21, 2015 | 4 min read

Spotify has angered some users following an update to its terms of service which many feel is overly intrusive.

The music streaming service now requires users to agree to allow it to access their photos, contacts phone numbers and sensor data stored on the user's smartphone as well as viewing their social media activity.

Spotify said that the changes would help it “tailor improved user experience” and assured customers that “the privacy and security of our customers' data is - and will remain - Spotify's highest priority.”

The statement added that Spotify “would always ask for individual permission or clearly inform you of the ability to opt out from sharing location, photos, voice and contacts."

The company has previous used sensor data to determine how fast the user’s phone is moving which helped the Swedish firm develop its Spotify Running service. It said the latest updates to the terms of service are necessary to “make sure our terms are up-to-date with all the latest features we are offering". This suggests that more innovations could be on the way and will require access to users' data in order to tailor the experience, however the change in conditions has being met with some resistance and could harm the brand, allowing Apple Music to capitalise and gain ground.

One of the new terms states that it is up to the user to ensure that people listed in the contacts list on their handset are happy for their phone number to be shared with the music platform.

Some of its 70 million global users, 20 million of whom are subscribers, have reacted angrily to the changes though, including some high profile users who have voiced their discontent on Twitter.

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Minecraft creator Markus Persson tweeted to his 2.4m followers that he has cancelled his account and implored Spotify not to go down the route it was taking.

Forbes reporter Thomas Fox-Brewster also voiced his disapproval of the changes and said that he was now "considering whether the £10 I pay for a premium membership is worth it, given the amount of privacy I'd be giving away by consenting,"

In a blogpost, Spotify said its new terms were updated in the interests of transparency.

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