Trading Services For Location Information
The popular music streaming service Spotify recently announced an updated set of terms and conditions. In addition to stated intentions to access contact information and photographs stored on a mobile device, for those using the Spotify Running feature the service would also collect location data.
Depending on the type of device that you use to interact with the Service and your settings, we may also collect information about your location based on, for example, your phone’s GPS location or other forms of locating mobile devices (e.g., Bluetooth). We may also collect sensor data (e.g., data about the speed of your movements, such as whether you are running, walking, or in transit). – Spotify
For many service providers such as Spotify, personal location information is just one of the data sources they can tap in to provide a more personal service and Spotify are not the first service to want access. The trade off we have as consumers of those services is does the service we want to use justify trading some of our personal information. Before consenting to that trade off we need to understand how, what, and when data is collected, who will use it (third party access?) and if we can opt out of sharing this information.
In responding to some of the negative feedback to the announcement from users concerned about how their personal information was being used, Spotify acknowledged that they didn’t do a good job communicating the updated terms and conditions and what they meant to say was…..
Location: We will never gather or use the location of your mobile device without your explicit permission. We would use it to help personalize recommendations or to keep you up to date about music trending in your area. And if you choose to share location information but later change your mind, you will always have the ability to stop sharing. – Spotify
For some the new personal service will appeal, for others it will be a tracked step too far. The important thing for all users is sufficient information to make an informed decision before accepting the new terms and conditions.