These days, we have many entities collecting all sorts of data about us. This “practice” isn’t just being followed by the big boys like Facebook and Google, but also a number of smaller parties that seemingly want to know everything we do on the Internet. And all this happens in an effort to serve us better-performing ads — so that we could buy even more things we don’t necessarily need.
Alas, this article is about Spotify, so let’s stick to the subject. Let us first acknowledge the obvious…
Spotify collects all kinds of data about its users
And just to be clear – Spotify gets this data from both its free and paid users, so it’s not like you can avoid your data being harvested if you pay for it. In this case, you can’t go around it.
But wait, there’s more to this story; you see, Spotify doesn’t just keep all that data for itself — rather, it shares some of it with advertising and marketing partners so that all of them can know your music preferences. And potentially serve you ads for products and services you are more inclined to buy.
Anyway… While we generally have nothing against companies collecting some data about us as it really can help them optimize their services, in many cases – these data collection practices can go way overboard. And, obviously, we think that’s the case with Spotify.
A few Spotify privacy tips to follow
From what we’re getting, there are a few things you could do to keep your privacy at least partially protected from Spotify and its partners. Here’s what you can do:
- Don’t connect to Facebook. In fact, try not connecting any service with Facebook as it will provide the social media giant with yet another pool of data to feed their algorithms. Also, by not taking this step, you will also potentially protect your friends, the list of which Spotify will want to access on Facebook.
- Disable listening activity and recently played artists. This will hide what you listen to from your friends on Spotify. To do that, go to “Privacy & Social” in the settings menu and toggle each switch off. We should add that this won’t affect your recommendations or your Spotify Wrapped.
- Change your public account details. No need to use your real photo on Spotify; instead, use an avatar. And get a fake name or some nickname that won’t tell anyone (or at least most people) who you really are. You can do this from Spotify settings, select View Profile and then tap Edit.
- Keep your playlists private. Perhaps you can have one or two sets as public, but there is no reason to give away your music preferences to the wider world. In case you didn’t know, the music you listen to can tell algorithms a lot about you. Similar people buy similar things, and music is the unifying force for many folks.
- Use Spotify Private Sessions. It is like the incognito mode in your web browser, which you’re probably already using. Now, do the same with your music streaming to prevent others from snooping into your music taste.
Staying private from Spotify
People’s music taste is very valuable to advertisers and there is no good reason to give away that piece of information to anyone, Spotify included.
One way or another, we fit into different groups – with people listening to similar music and living in the same area, typically buying similar stuff. And that’s why you may see the same ads as your friends.
There are options to tweak ads on Spotify, and you may want to go through their “Advertisements” section in settings. See which of the available options you can disable to protect your music listening from being turned into another data-harvesting experience.
Better yet, use a VPN when listening to Spotify. This way, you will trick their algorithms into thinking you are in a different location so they and their partners could serve you less personalized (creepy?) ads.
A VPN will also help you protect your overall privacy online, preventing the likes of Google and Facebook from “getting to know you better.” And in this age, it is a privilege not to be followed on the Internet. So, if you still don’t have a VPN, get one today. Hop over to our page with the Best of the Best VPNs and take it from there.