Spotify recently launched a voice assistant with “Hey Spotify” wake word to help you search and play your favorite content hands-free. However, this update has raised some privacy questions. Now, Spotify has revealed how it uses your voice data, its purpose and tackles some of the concerns. It has revealed more about how “Hey Spotify” works, including how it listens to and uses your data.
The streaming music giant stresses the fact that its voice helper is strictly optional and you have to switch it on or off. Further, Spotify goes on to say that it isn’t recording everything you say. It starts gathering your voice data only when you say the wake word or tap on the action button. The Spotify app is listening for the wake word in “few-second snippets,” but those are deleted if you don’t say the right words.
Spotify has published an FAQ where it details what it does with your voice data. It goes on to say that the company uses this data to recognize what you say, to understand you better, and to help the service provide a response or take an action. However, Spotify “may also use and share this data in other ways.”
The “other ways” include using your data to improve voice functionality on Spotify, to develop new voice features, and to help Spotify “provide you with advertising that is more relevant to you.“ Moreover, it shares the information with its service providers such as cloud storage providers.
As Engadget reports, critics like Access Now recently published about how a recent patent could let Spotify detect details like age, gender, accents, and even your “emotional state.” Theoretically, the streaming app could use this to profile you or manipulate your emotions. However, this is just a patent, and might or might now reach any product.