How to Limit Spotify From Tracking You, Because It Knows Too Much

lifehacker.com
6 min read
fairly easy
Between its data collection, third-party trackers, and public profile info, Spotify isn't as private as you think.
Most Spotify users are likely aware the streaming service tracks their listening activity, search history, playlists, and the songs they like or skip—that's all part of helping the algorithm figure out what you like, right? However, some users may be less OK with how much other data Spotify and its partners are logging.

According to Spotify's privacy policy, the company tracks:

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Your name

Email address

Phone number

Date of birth

Gender

Street address, country, and other GPS location data

Login info

Billing info

Website cookies

IP address

Facebook user ID, login information, likes, and other data.

Device information like accelerometer or gyroscope data, operating system, model, browser, and even some data from other devices on your wifi network.

This information helps Spotify tailor song and artist recommendations to your tastes and is used to improve the in-app user experience, sure . However, the company also uses it to attract advertising partners, who can create personalized ads based on your information. And that doesn't even touch on the third-party cross-site trackers that are eagerly eyeing your Spotify activity too.

Treating people and their data like a consumable resource is scummy, but it's common practice for most companies and websites these days, and the common response from the general public is typically a sh ru g (never mind that a survey of US adults revealed we place a high value on our personal data) . However, it's still a security risk. As we've seen repeatedly over the years, all it takes is one poorly-secured server or an unusually skilled hacker to compromise the personal data that companies like Spotify hold onto.

And to top things off, almost all of your Spotify profile's information is public by default—so anyone else with a Spotify account can easily look you up unless you go out of your way to change your settings.

Luckily, you can limit some of the data Spotify and connected third-party apps collect, and…
Brendan Hesse
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