Spotify defends itself after outcry over data collection

August 21, 2015
Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, speaks to reporters at a news conference on May 20, 2015 in New York
Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, speaks to reporters at a news conference on May 20, 2015 in New York

Online music streamer Spotify defended itself Friday after angry users accused it of abusive personal data collection by asking for access to their contacts and photos.

Earlier this week, the firm had described the changes on its website as an "update" of its general user terms and conditions and its , intended "to tailor improved experiences to our , and build new and personalised products for the future."

But some users of the were not happy about the change.

On Twitter, hundreds of customers complained, many of them linking to articles on specialised sites such as Wired that were critical of the move.

On Friday, one of the creators of the hugely popular online game Minecraft, Markus Persson of Sweden, told his 2.4 million followers that he had "cancelled" his Spotify subscription.

"As a consumer, I've always loved your service. You're the reason I stopped pirating . Please consider not being evil," he wrote.

Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek responded directly to him: "Have you read our blog? We explicitly will ask when using camera or GPS."

Ek also explained that having access to photos would help users "if you want to personalise a playlist by having a custom image or a new profile pic."

The Swedish group—which claims to have "more than 75 million" users in 58 countries, including more than 20 million who use its premium paying site—is facing stiff competition from US rival Apple.

Apple Music was launched on June 30 in more than 100 countries, after the iconic firm realised that music fans would in the future be more likely to choose streaming over downloads.

Explore further: Apple challenges figures on Apple Music user retention

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