What you need to know
- Spotify now requires Family Plan users to occassionally share location data
- The company is attempting to stop some from abusing the service
- The location data collected is encryted and deleted after it is used
For anyone who is currently a part of Spotify's Premium Family Plan, you are going to have to make peace with sharing your location with the company. Reported by CNET, Spotify has added a new addition to its terms and conditions for its Family Plan that requires anyone using the service to occasionally share their location data.
The Spotify Premium Family Plan is incredibly popular. It offers families up to six accounts under one plan for a single price of $14.99 a month, similar to Apple Music's family plan in that each person gets their own account with their own saved library and personalized playlists and music suggestions. It is a great offer that, unfortunately, also comes with some abuse. As we all know, subscription services that offer multiple users can be abused by sharing service with friends, colleagues, and family members who don't actually live in the same area as the person with the plan.
While this tactic can make the cost incredibly cheap (if 6 people share a plan the cost of Spotify Premium would be $2.50 per person) it is not the kind of "family" that Spotify had in mind. The service specifcies that a family must live at the same address, so the company is now requiring users of this plan to share location data "from time to time" in order to verify that everyone on the plan is in fact living in the same location.
This of course raises privacy concerns of its users, and Spotify is trying to get ahead of that. The company released a statement explaining,"the location data that is collected during Premium Family account creation is only used by Spotify for that purpose....once verification of a family member's home address is completed, we do not store their location data or track their location at any time. This data is encrypted and can be edited by the plan owner as needed."
It will be interesting to see how users react to the new change, especially as privacy concerns grow and competitive services like Apple Music are backed by companies like Apple who tout the privacy of their users.
What do you think about Spotify's move? Let us know in the comments below.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.