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Norway watchdog slams Spotify privacy rules

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Norway watchdog slams Spotify privacy rules
Spotify founder Daniel Ek said he was "sorry" the policy had been misunderstood. Photo: Spotify
23:24 CEST+02:00
The Norwegian Data Protection Authority (NDPA) has sharply criticised the intrusive new terms of use brought in by the music streaming service Spotify, describing them as “a new level on the collection of personal data”.
Spotify was on Friday forced to backtrack on the new privacy policy, released on Wednesday, in the face of a user rebellion. 
 
The policy, which requests access to users' pictures, contacts and GPS data, had triggered outrage, with some high profile users – such Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft, declaring that they would cancel their subscriptions. 
 
Atle Årnes, the NDPA's technology director said that the vague wording of Spotify's statement was particularly irksome. 
 
“One should notice especially the part of the text where they use the word “may”, which means that they will perhaps do this or that. That's a type of word which we think badly of at the Data Protection Authority, because it brings so much uncertainty. Do it, or don't do it.” 
 
Spotify founder Daniel Ek on Friday posted a blog post titled “sorry”, in which he complained that there was “a lot of confusion” over the company's new privacy policies. 
 
“We should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean and how any information you choose to share will - and will not - be used.” 
 
He went on to stress that Spotify would only access photos,  contacts, voice control, or GPS location in order to provide new Spotify services, and only ever with its users' permission. 
 
“As a consumer, I've always loved your service. You're the reason I stopped pirating music. Please consider not being evil,” ‘Notch' wrote in his tweet announcing his decision to cancel his subscription. 
 
The Swedish group claims to have more than 75 million users in 58, more than 20 million of whom use its premium paying site, but is now facing stiff competition from Apple, which launched Apple Music on June 30. 
 
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