Spotify can listen to you for ads: Do you care?

Chris Burns - Apr 9, 2021, 4:11pm CDT
Spotify can listen to you for ads: Do you care?

Voice on Spotify is the newest in voice activated smart audio control, active now with the latest update to the app. If you want to use the service, you can do so for no additional cost – or you can choose to have this “Hey Spotify” system turned off entirely. It’s up to you.

If you have the Voice on Spotify system turned on, Spotify will collect “voice data.” Per Spotify’s official Voice Controls legal documentation, voice data includes “audio recordings and transcripts of what you say, and other related information such as the content that was returned to you by Spotify.”

Spotify will use this voice data for ad targeting. Spotify will use this data to “understand you better” and may “use and share this data in other ways.” One of the ways the data is used is to “help [Spotify] to provide you with advertising that is more relevant to you.”

This feature isn’t turned on automatically. You’ll turn it on by tapping the mic icon in Search in the Spotify app. You can turn it back off by going into Settings, tapping Voice Interactions, and turning off Hey Spotify or change mic permissions.

But here’s the thing: Do you care? This sort of functionality and use of user data isn’t unique to Spotify. Do you care if your voice and transcriptions of your voice are used to target you with advertisements?

Take a peek at the timeline below for more information on other bits and pieces Spotify’s done in the recent past. They’ve also dropped some updates for podcasts and readied a major update for desktop and web apps. Look to the Spotify Car Thing for the most major product launch in the Spotify universe in years, too.


Must Read Bits & Bytes