Why Spotify T’s & C’s shouldn’t be a concern

Streaming Internet music service Spotify has outraged users who have erupted to their new terms and conditions and privacy policy. It’s all, according the Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, been blown out of proportion and their intent is not as some have suggested to spy on their users.

The outcry concerns Spotify telling users that they’d access their photos, location, voice and contacts from their mobile handsets. Sharing data with advertisers was also a concern.

In reality whenever you download an app to your mobile you give the app creator permission to access quite a few of your phone features, many of which you’d be annoyed if they couldn’t monitor – for instance you’d be pretty annoyed if you were playing a game and missed any calls that came in because the app creator hadn’t asked for permission to monitor your voice calls.

So what do Spotify want to do when they access your personal information? Photos and voice access are simply so that you can choose a profile image and to enable you control Spotify with voice commands. They’d like to access your location so that they can suggest music that’s trending in your area and possibly personalise music for you (for instance it’s rumoured that Spotify would like to select music matching your mood, for instance your speed when out jogging).

Your contacts are obviously not something you necessarily want to share with random apps, but Spotify allows you to find friends on Spotify and by identifying users who are already in your address book is no different to other apps like Facebook who already access this information.

Finally Spotify say that information shared with advertisers is anonymous but again this is what happens with practically every website you visit including sites like eBay, Amazon and Google.

Of course there is an alternative to Spotify if you’re too upset by the T’s and C’s, in the form of Amazon music. With the relatively new competition the last thing Spotify can afford is to be alienating users. Spotify costs £9.99 per month and as a comparison Amazon Prime, which promises over a million songs and hundreds of playlists, is effectively free if you’re already paying the £79 per year Prime subscription.

Are you a Spotify user, have you tried Amazon Prime Music? Which is best and is it still worth paying Spotify a tenner a month or is Amazon’s £79 per year deal worth having, especially as if you sign up just for the music Amazon will bung in free next day delivery, a free Kindle book per month, unlimited photo storage in the cloud and Prime Movies.