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Pre-Saving Albums Can Allow Labels to Track Users on Spotify

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.


    Users who “pre-save” an upcoming release to their Spotify accounts may be sharing more personal data with the act’s label than they realize.

    To pre-save music, which adds a release to a user’s library as soon as it comes out, Spotify users click through and approve permissions that give the label far more account access than the streaming giant normally grants them — enough to track what they listen to, change what artists they follow and potentially even control their music streaming remotely.

  2. WHAT?!?
    Raku and Turkeylegz like this.
  3. CyberInferno

    Line below my username Supporter

    I'm not sure why this is news to anyone unless they've never tried to pre-save an album on Spotify. You very obviously have to allow additional permissions on a separate page. The handful of times I've wanted to pre-save an album, I've seen that page and immediately closed it. Here's what the page looks like (in case people are going to the comments without reading the article):
    It's bullshit in my opinion, but it's not exactly hidden...
    Raku and slickdtc like this.
  4. Because no one reads these agreements. That's the problem with privacy policies and informed consent from virtually every big tech company. They know no one reads these and just clicks through.
    Raku and Arry like this.
  5. I never actually pre-save an album. Is that bad fan etiquette?
    Raku likes this.
  6. contra11mundum

    I hate spoilers. Supporter

    I’ve gone to pre-save stuff and then opted out due to this in the past.
  7. CyberInferno

    Line below my username Supporter

    Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive to it as someone in IT. I don't read every EULA either, but when something is explicitly asking for more permissions than I previously gave it (e.g. Facebook apps for giveaways, phone apps, etc.), I take notice.

    I've never actually expanded to see what additional permissions are needed—I always just close it when I get to this screen.

    I know Apple Music can pre-save too, and that's what you use. Does Apple Music have any kinds of this stuff on there?
    Raku and slickdtc like this.
  8. AFAIK, no. Apple's privacy stance, so far, has been top notch.
  9. slickdtc

    Regular Supporter

    Totally just pre-saved an album for the first time the other day. But I feel like the permissions I gave were obvious; of course they have to have access to add something to my Spotify since that’s exactly what I’m asking them to do with a pre-save.

    The real question is how do you revoke permission after granting it?
    Raku likes this.
  10. CyberInferno

    Line below my username Supporter

    That's cool. The main reason I'm on Spotify is that I get is super cheap, but when my kids get old enough, assuming they're interested in music (and they thankfully prefer my musical taste to my wife's at the moment), I'll probably get an Apple Music family subscription.
    Glad to hear this article doesn't surprise you either.

    From the screenshots of the privacy rights: "You can remove this access at any time". I'm not sure if you can pre-save then immediately revoke access without them either removing the pre-saved album or getting tons of data from you though.
    slickdtc likes this.
  11. currytheword


    Reason no. 643726 I’m happy to be using Apple Music.
  12. TDenverFan


    How else would pre saving work? Like the idea is Spotify adds it to your playlist the moment it's released, so they need permission to edit your playlists

    The other info they get is a little odd that it's tied to presaving, I sorta just assumed labels got that regardless
    Raku likes this.
  13. All you’d really need to pre-save an album is your account’s user ID.