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August 21, 2015updated 26 Aug 2016 4:43pm

Spotify apologises over privacy policy ‘confusion’

CEO's partial mea culpa argues that there is nothing sinister about policy updates.

By Alexander Sword

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (pictured) has apologised for "confusion" about updates to the streaming service’s privacy policy.

In a blog post titled ‘SORRY.’, Ek wrote that the company "should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean" but claimed there was nothing sinister in the changes.

These updates would see Spotify asking for access to photos, mobile device location, voice controls, and contacts.

He stressed that granting the permissions was optional and users would have to give express permission for data to be used:

"Let me be crystal clear here: If you don’t want to share this kind of information, you don’t have to. We will ask for your express permission before accessing any of this data – and we will only use it for specific purposes that will allow you to customize your Spotify experience," Ek wrote.

He also explained how data such as photos would only be used to improve Spotify’s services and denied that personal information is shared with advertisers.

The blog came following a backlash against updates to Spotify’s privacy policy.

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"Hello. As a consumer, I’ve always loved your service. You’re the reason I stopped pirating music. Please consider not being evil," tweeted Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft.

Speaking after the policy was first made public, cloud security company Skyhigh Networks’ European spokesperson, Nigel Hawthorn, said:

"Spotify‘s changes to its Terms and Conditions are giving it more power over your data, knowing full well that the majority of users won’t notice, and those that do probably won’t care in the slightest."

Hawthorn suggested that the optional, or otherwise, nature of the policy was not the issue:

"We’re so used to clicking ‘I agree’ that we’re paying less and less attention to what it is we’re agreeing to, and rarely question why these companies need our data in the first place."

According to recent research by Digital Catapult, 60 percent of UK consumers were uncomfortable sharing personal data and 14 percent refuse to share any at all.

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