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Spotify defends itself after outcry over data collection

21 August 2015, 17:02

Stockholm - Online music streamer Spotify defended itself Friday after angry users accused it of abusive personal data collection by asking for access to their contacts and photos.

Earlier this week, the firm had described the changes on its website as an "update" of its general user terms and conditions and its privacy policy, intended "to tailor improved experiences to our users, and build new and personalised products for the future."

Also read: D'banj makes it confidential

But some users of the streaming service were not happy about the change.

On Twitter, hundreds of customers complained, many of them linking to articles on specialised sites such as Wired that were critical of the move.

On Friday, one of the creators of the hugely popular online game Minecraft, Markus Persson of Sweden, told his 2.4 million followers that he had "cancelled" his Spotify subscription.

"As a consumer, I've always loved your service. You're the reason I stopped pirating music. Please consider not being evil," he wrote.

Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek responded directly to him: "Have you read our blog? We explicitly will ask when using camera or GPS."

Ek also explained that having access to photos would help users "if you want to personalise a playlist by having a custom image or a new profile pic."

The Swedish group, which claims to have "more than 75 million" users in 58 countries, including more than 20 million who use its premium paying site, is facing stiff competition from US rival Apple.

Apple Music was launched on June 30 in more than 100 countries, after the iconic firm realised that music fans would in the future be more likely to choose streaming over downloads.



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