Spotify Rolls Out 'Plain Language' Privacy Policy After Backlash

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By Julianne Pepitone

Spotify promised last month to revamp an update to its privacy policy after the new terms sparked backlash, and that update-to-the-update is now here.

The new set of terms, which Spotify rolled out Thursday, more clearly state why and when the company will ask for access to information like users' photos and GPS data -- as well as how that information is used.

The music-streaming service is trying to put an end to a messy situation that began August 20, when the company rolled out a new privacy policy. Critics slammed the terms as overly vague and broad -- especially the tech magazine Wired, which published an article calling it an "eerie new privacy policy."

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Related: Spotify Responds to Privacy Policy Backlash

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek apologized in a blog post one day later for not communicating the changes well, and he promised an updated, clearer policy in the "coming weeks."

That new policy explains how Spotify divides users' information into two categories: data that's necessary to use Spotify, like registration information and the songs users listen to on the service, and data that Spotify can use to offer additional features.

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Spotify explained it won't have access to that second category of information -- which includes items like access to the microphone for controlling Spotify via voice command, or to specific photos a listener wants to use as cover art for a playlist -- unless users explicitly allow the app to do so. That was the main thrust of the confusion and complaints after the prior update, and Ek said in a blog post Thursday the company hopes the revamped version "provides a healthy dose of clarity and context."