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RIP Spotify....

Discussion in 'Audio Visual and Digital Home' started by amusicsite, 21 Aug 2015.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    http://www.wired.com/2015/08/cant-squat-spotifys-eerie-new-privacy-policy/

    This is only the start. Soon they will drop the free version and up the price under pressure from the major record labels (evil b..stards) and it will fail. The winners being Apple and Google who will ultimately be the only two choices. The music business a shady old affair and I should know...
     
  2. IDMk2

    IDMk2 Member Geek

    I've been following the story, today has seen either a climb down or a clarification on privacy issues, depending on your viewpoint.

    https://news.spotify.com/us/

    I wanted to ask if anyone knew if the permissions granted only applied to the gmail address on your Spotify account?
    I use an dedicated alias account for all online apps and they have no contacts or photos related to them at all. It's not clear to me whether these potentially intrusive permissions apply to the whole device, ie they can get the contact info from my real account also available on the device, or just attempt to read the account ID (in which case, no problem at all).
     
    welsh dragon likes this.
  3. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    As far as I can tell it has nothing to do with any email address it's about the app gaining access to anything on the computer/phone you use it on, though only for the logged in user.
     
  4. IDMk2

    IDMk2 Member Geek

    Sorry, I'll clarify the email address thing, when you sign up/in there is an email address you give them tied to that account.
    I can log on to my Spotify account from say, for example, my son's tablet. My account, IDMk2, associated email given to them 123@gmail.com.
    The disputed T&C's give them permission to ask me (that is, the user whose name and email I've given them) whether they can use my contacts (associated with that email address because that's all they have), even if I have said 'yes, you can do that to me', they can merrily send their robot out to log into the 123@gmail account and read the contacts (there aren't any) and they shouldn't be able to read his 'son@gmail' account on his tablet?
    So if I have my Spotify on my tablet/phone logged in, the same should apply, I may be logged into a different Google account than the Spotify account email they have but I haven't given any go ahead for that to be used, have I?
     
  5. IDMk2

    IDMk2 Member Geek

    amusicsite likes this.
  6. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    They don't actually login to your emails or anything like that it's more a case of access you contacts stored on the phone/computer which are assessable to other programs on your machine.

    So let's have a look at their fall-back defence...

    They are stating their meaning is 'You give them permission to upload photos if you click on the browse and upload a file option on your device'... Well I don't really think this needs to be in the T&Cs as I would assume that by clicking on a 'brows and upload' icon, selecting an image and uploading it you are giving this sort of permission anyway.

    Once again if this is only used when you enable an option to 'track my movements' then you are once again giving them permission to do this within the app.

    Likewise if this is only an option when you enable voice control of the device then by enabling any option that states 'use voice to control your device' you are giving it permission to do this...

    This is the most controversial one, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like have all got into trouble over this one. The typical 'giving them permission' to do this is you add to the welcome script a page that says something like 'Invite my friends' which hopefully people will click ok to. Often on something like page 5/6 of questions where you get used to clicking yes, yes, yes and have stopped reading the questions. Then it will pull in all your contact information from the device and scrub it for email address'. Once it has them it will spam all your contacts with an email saying you are using their service and they should join too. There is never any real good reason to do this. If they are really your friend then you should be able to tell them yourself that you are using it and they might like it.

    To me it's like saying 'You have bought this Album by a band would you like to tell eveyone you know to buy it?' Your aunt, your mum, your friends, your business associates, your landord, your favourite restaurant... The answer will almost certainly be NO F*ing way!

    As to why they are doing this...

    http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/05/15/music-labels-spotify-no-free-tier/

    They know they are loosing the battle to keep the free service and will desperately need to make up the shortfall. So they are looking to add new stuff to the service and especially want to get you to tell all your friends to also use it. So the last one is the most important. The photos probably do just mean you will be able to upload a personal profile picture and custom artwork, the location will probably be to change the type of music depending on if you are at home, in the car or out for a jog. The microphone is probably just for voice control... But the contacts is most certainly a way to try and get you to help them boost the amount of people paying for spotify. They basically want to use your contact to build a spammy mailing list and pester them to buy it.
     
  7. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Location:
    Swindon, Wilts
    I saw this from The Verge yesterday morning and decided to ignore the whole thing, especially when Ek basically said the same thing later in the day.

    Whenever T&Cs from any company change we get these outcries, conclusions get jumped to and the internet causes a feedback loop until the whole thing spirals out of control.

    The simple answer is to investigate and if the new T&Cs are not agreeable to you just stop using the service. That'll hurt them far more than the volume of ill informed outrage that accompanies T&C changes. If spleens must be vented then a note on an official forum or an email to the company just to let them know why their user figures are falling should be enough.

    Side note: Everytime Facebook make a change there's a massive outcry but very few users leave in protest so they just carry on.
     
  8. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Actually you will be surprised how many people are leaving these services. It's mostly hidden by the number of new people joining but these outcries do loose them users who will never come back.
     
  9. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Location:
    Swindon, Wilts
    I would be genuinely interested in stats showing how many people are leaving because of changes made against people just getting bored. Services will always have some churn so I suppose I'm interested in how much of that is down to the service's own actions.

    That's the side note covered. Any comments on the rest of my post? :giggle:
     
    IDMk2 likes this.
  10. IDMk2

    IDMk2 Member Geek

    I have the premium £10 a month account, I signed up primarily because the wife bought me a Pioneer receiver/CD player/internet enabled device, XHM 52 or something (such snappy memorable names) that was capable of using the Spotify service but only the premium one. (I occasionally used the free version on a tab before that.) I control the device through an Android tablet running the full app.

    I've read the Ek explanatory blog and a couple of other articles and basically I'm not in a panic about it. I suspect I may feature on other people's contact lists who sign up for it anyway, blissfully unaware and unconcerned and without asking me their permission to give Spotify or anyone else my details, so I can't see how that part can be stopped anyway. I haven't started seeing any 'Your friend x listened to....' yet.

    I understand the conditions and permissions, I was just asking if anyone knew if the permissions applied only to the email address associated with the account or not.

    You say:

    All I'm asking is: Can anyone show me who and where it says that?
     
  11. welsh dragon

    welsh dragon Active Geek

    I have/had the free spotify ap, but I have now deleted it. I don't/won't give anyone permission to take info from my devices. Its a bit creepy in my opinion. I won't be using spotify again.
     
    classic33 likes this.
  12. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well Sptify have not done or said that yet but that is how the likes of facebook, twitter, linkedin and pintrest work. To get the email address (if doing it for all) then they have to grab the whole contact list on some systems I imagine. I don't know if the likes of Outlook, Mail and Contacts have the APIs to just pull out the email address. You typically grab the whole thing and scrub it for the info you want.... What you do with it afterwards is always the question... Especially if the answer is sell all your contacts data on to 3rd parties. Ever wondered how those PPI phone pests get your number in the first place....

    As far as music goes I've just started using Kodi

    http://kodi.tv/

    I've already got a nice big collection of music and now have a media box serving it up around me home so I don't really need something like spotify. I would buy more digital music if there was more Flac stuff around. The way storage is going you will be able to get every song ever made on a credit card size box within a few years so I think these streaming services are only a stop gap anyway. Some will like it but most will go for a local physical data storage.

    I think the who privacy thing will also start to bug people more and more. The main thing keeping this sort of "Well you have to give up your privacy to use a free service" thinking will not last long. It will only take someone to pull off an alternative system which works without caring who you are and people will start rejecting these draconian companies with over complex T&Cs.

    I always think a good test of a company is to have a think about which they have put more money and time into.. a) the T&Cs or b) Help/FAQs....
     
  13. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Location:
    Swindon, Wilts
    It might be worth reading Spotify's statement: https://news.spotify.com/us/2015/08/21/sorry-2/. To me at least it shows the that some media outlets have made the Himalayas out of a molehill.
     
    welsh dragon likes this.
  14. welsh dragon

    welsh dragon Active Geek


    I understand what they are saying. However I do feel that too many companies on the internet do want to be able to access your Information, even if it is with your permission.

    And I don't believe they want to do this just so people can customise they're experience of the site. People just want to listen to music. I dont believe that they would want to customise things in this way. Of course I could be wrong. For me I simply want something to listen to. I may want to customise my tablet in some way, but not a music ap.

    I just feel that more and more companies are getting on the bandwagon of wanting to access personal Information, and I can find and use other aps that don't want your Info. I hope spotify succeed, but I think they went about this all wrong, and the wording was such that people felt they had no other choice if they wanted spotify IE accept everything we want or don't download it, and I think this will bite them in the backside.
     
    classic33 likes this.
  15. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Location:
    Swindon, Wilts
    There always seem to be problems with service's Ts&Cs. It's possibly a disparity between our world and the legal world. I remember a service (I can't remember which one though) that seemed to change their Ts&Cs to say if you upload a photo they then own your photos. It turned out it was just a legal requirement that gave them the right to show your photo otherwise you could upload a photo and then sue them when they display it back to you.

    In Spotify's case it looks like they may be adding more social elements. They need to make the service as "sticky" as possible so people are less likely to leave or it's harder for people to leave. All the streaming services will add some social features if they haven't already otherwise there's not much to differentiate them. Google Play Music is probably the best choice if all you need is your music library in the cloud.
     
    welsh dragon likes this.
  16. welsh dragon

    welsh dragon Active Geek


    That's who I with. Google music. Its quite good.
     
  17. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    I think it is a bit of an overblown story but then again I think Spotify did get all wrong...

    Firstly... NEVER never release something like this on a Friday, you have the whole weekend ahead with no one in the office to defend it! This is especially true on a slow week where it's easy for you to get top billing on all the news channels. This time of year people are desperate for a story and they handed them one on a plate.

    Second... Don't be lazy, don't just update your T&C and expect everyone to guess. This should have come out with a press release where they talked about the new services coming soon where these changes would take effect. If they have told the news channels they were soon to be adding the ability to upload your pics to playlists, control it by voice and set tunes to how you are travelling a few hour before they updated the T&Cs then most of the news channels would have just ignored it as an expected update to the services.

    Finally... Have a good think about if you need to update the T&Cs at all. As I pointed out earlier IF this is like they say just things that will be used only if you opt in then do they really need to be in the T&Cs or can you just state that you are giving them permission when you enable each feature. Shouldn't T&Cs be general things that only affect all users? If they are sub sections then maybe put each one under that section. e.g. If you enable the feature to upload images you give us permission to upload images...

    The problem is most people don't like what T&Cs on the web, most software too, state. They are very one sided. They state everything the lawyers tell them need to be there maybe it's time to add a few things about what you are/are not actually going to do with the data. Where is the stuff in the T&Cs that states what they are doing to protect you? If Spotify had been more specific about the changes again it would not have been a story.

    I must admit the reason I found out about this was when I lunched up Spotify on Friday it asked me to agree to the new T&Cs. I was intrigued as to what had changed as it's not the sort of service that you expect the T&Cs to change for... The link to 'Read the T&Cs' took you here:

    https://www.spotify.com/uk/legal/end-user-agreement/

    There was no "What's Changed" section and it's not the easiest thing to read. So I searched to find out what had changed. That lead me to the "This is evil" type articles. Which I then spread to my social network channels before even thinking about it too much. Was a slow day...

    So at worst it's a massive communication error on their part. I'm sure they will survive this one but as it stands now, although they have said sorry and clarified what they want to do the T&Cs are still the same as on Friday and it does imply they have permission to do a lot more than they say they will.
     
    classic33 and welsh dragon like this.