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Spotify tracking more than just your song choices

The trail you leave on Spotify follows you as you go about your business on the internet.
Credit: KARE

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — The type of music you listen to may say a lot about you, perhaps, more than you realize, especially if you use the app Spotify.     

"What you do on Spotify is not necessarily just contained to Spotify," says Mashable Senior Tech Reporter, Jack Morse.

Morse did a deep dive into Spotify’s privacy policy. It will likely come as no surprise that the app collects a bunch of data about you. Like every song you've ever listened to and at what time of day. Your general location, along with everything you type into the search function.

“If Spotify was recording my song history, only to recommend more songs like that, maybe that would bother some people, maybe it be the feature that sells someone on the service. I think the concern is what does Spotify do with the data of yours that it collects?" says Morse.

And the answer is simple. They sell it.

“If you've expressed interest in cars, it may let advertisers know that so they can show you advertisements about cars, pretty harmless stuff, right?” he says.

“Essentially, if you were listening to songs about heartbreak, you could hypothetically be targeted with ads for chocolate,” Morse adds.

The trail you left on Spotify follows you as you go about your biz on the internet. And it's not like the app is being nefarious. They did, after all, let you know what they were doing. Kind of.

“It is buried in a long privacy policy. Most Americans actually do not read privacy policies. Pew research has done studies into this saying a majority of Americans do not read these policies at all,” says Morse.

Good news, you can still use the app without feeling like you're being creeped on.

“There is a way in Spotify settings, in the account and profile section, to turn off tailored ads. And what this means is Spotify will no longer share your data with third party advertising partners,” says Morse.

He says it's a good idea to check the privacy settings on any app you use. It's a good way to protect yourself, since there aren't really any laws on the books to do it for you. Morse also says it's a good idea to reach out to your representatives in congress if you want them to pass more federal consumer privacy laws.

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