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New Spotify privacy policy can collect your photos, contacts and location

Spotify is facing criticism for its new privacy policy which will give the mobile app permission to access seemingly unwarranted information on the user’s phone.

According to the updated policy, the popular music streaming service may collect a variety of data, including “contacts, photos, or media files.”

Read more: EU claims Facebook’s privacy policy is so obtuse it’s illegal

However, Spotify’s data collections doesn’t stop there, as the app may also harvest sensor information, such as that provided by your handset’s accelerometer and voice searches, as well as your location.

“Depending on the type of device that you use to interact with the Service and your settings, we may also collect information about your location based on, for example, your phone’s GPS location or other forms of locating mobile devices (e.g. Bluetooth),” the policy states. “We may also collect sensor data (e.g. data about the speed of your movements, such as whether you are running, walking, or in transit).”

Spotify will also be able to view your interactions on Facebook, including your likes and posts, although this can be prevented by going into your Spotify preferences and ensuring your account is not synced to your Facebook profile.

It is not clear exactly what Spotify hopes to achieve by collecting all this information, although it does reveal that some of it will be used to deliver more targeted advertising. Still, this is hardly the first time that a mobile app has fallen foul of an overzealous privacy policy. Earlier this year, PayPal found itself in hot water after modifying its user agreement to allow the sharing of phone numbers with third parties and the use of automated phone calls and messages.

Read more: Why the PayPal robocall agreement has consumers up in arms

Unfortunately, there’s not much that users can do to escape Spotify’s new privacy policy, aside from quitting the service altogether. It appears that for many digital companies large scale data collection has now become the norm.