How to stop Spotify from sharing your usage data

The music streaming platform Spotify collects all data related to the activity that the user performs: what songs he listens to, what users he follows, what playlists he makes, what podcast a subscription is activated to…

Spotify stores the information of all the activity of its users, using it to obtain income through advertising and other agreements with third parties

What Spotify later does with that data is something that is not easy to know, although it must be recognized that it is explained in a generic and inconclusive way in the conditions and terms of use. Like other platforms and social networks, such as YouTube or Facebook, this is data that ends up being used to obtain income from third-party companies or advertising campaigns.

That endless text that all users declare having read and with which they agree when activating the account and that probably no one has ever read, in practice, confirms that consent is given, by registering an account with Spotify, that such data may be usedbut that complete record of user activity on this streaming platform can also be limited.

However, some of the data that Spotify collects from its users is strictly necessary for the proper functioning of the service: user name, email address, billing data (for users of the paid version) as well as data related to the service itself. device. These are data that in any case must be handled by the platform with the utmost rigor to safeguard the privacy of users.

Worse, it is more complicated to justify the need for Spotify to handle data such as location, interests, tastes and personal preferences, information from the smartphone’s movement and orientation sensors… or the so-called “streaming history”: a complete list of the songs listened to, how many times they have been reproduced, the moment of the day in which they have been listened to…

Spotify states that it collects information to be able to “infer (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 relevant advertising for the user, according to the interests of the user. For their peace of mind, it is also emphasized that all kinds of precautions are taken to protect the privacy of the user, offering full transparency through the Spotify Privacy Center.

The influence it can have, facing deliver relevant advertising, know the music that is played, explains India McKinney, director of Federal Affairs of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation, an American non-profit organization that defends privacy, freedom of expression and technological innovation) . According to McKinney “after playing many songs about broken hearts and unrequited love, the algorithm of Spotify will show advertising 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 from the analysis of their activity, advertisers can adjust the advertising insertions that are displayed.

How to protect your privacy on Spotify

Fortunately for those who are concerned about this issue, Spotify itself has established a mechanism to limit the data handled by the platform. A privacy safeguard that can be achieved by following these steps:

-To access to the Spotify account.

-Get in in the “Profile – Account” menu located at the top right.

-To go to “Privacy settings” in the menu on the left.

-Deactivate “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 from being shared between both platforms, except for those that allow access to Spotify using the identifier of the Facebook account.

This will limit user data processed by Spotifyand which are shared with advertisers and marketing companies.