Here’s what Spotify does with the data it generates from your voice commands


Last week we saw streaming app Spotify roll out the ability to control the service using a series of voice commands and the key phrase ‘Hey Spotify’. Because what else were they going to use? But every new feature includes more data collection, which is just what’s happening with the music app.

And since we’re becoming more data-conscious, the service decided it might be a plan to detail exactly what it’s collecting from you, and how it’s using it. This might be the most transparent document we’ve seen from a large tech company explaining what it’s doing and why. So… well done, Spotify.

Spotify storing stuff

The service has released an FAQ concerning the new voice controls, detailing how it works. The best thing? It’s all opt-in, as a setting that you need to enable by giving the app access to your microphone. Similarly, you can disable it in-app, or by altering the app’s voice permissions.

The company’s also being very upfront about what voice data is being collected and what it’s being used for. The service will collect “…audio recordings and transcripts of what you say, and other related information such as the content that was returned to you by Spotify.”

And this data will be used to improve the ability to respond to you, which is what any voice control system does. But it’s also intended to serve you more relevant advertising — which only really matters if you’re not a Spotify Premium subscriber. It’s worth noting that being a Premium subscriber won’t stop the service from building an advertising profile for you. They just won’t use it, because you’re already giving them money not to.

The company also details just how much data is collected, and how — Spotify will only start recording when you toggle voice control, either via a button or the key phrase, and then it’ll record until the operation you’ve requested is complete. Check out all the details here.


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