Norway watchdog slams Spotify privacy rules

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”.

Norway watchdog slams Spotify privacy rules
Spotify founder Daniel Ek said he was "sorry" the policy had been misunderstood. Photo: Spotify
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. 


MAPS: Where have Norway’s one million coronavirus vaccinations been given?

More than a million people in Norway have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to official data.

MAPS: Where have Norway's one million coronavirus vaccinations been given?
Photo: Luis ACOSTA / AFP

On Friday SYSVAK, Norway’s vaccine register, showed that 1,025,436 people had taken their first jab, with a further 300,032 people being fully vaccinated with both doses.

How are vaccines distributed in Norway?  

Vaccines are distributed by the government based upon how many people in risk groups are in each municipality. Supply is also prioritised to areas with high infection rates, such as Oslo.

Once vaccines are given to municipalities the rest of the vaccination process is handled individually by the local authorities.

So far, central authorities have distributed over 1.2 million vaccines to municipalities.

The Pfizer vaccine is the most common serum in Norway with over 930,000 jabs being distributed.

AstraZeneca is the next most widely used, with almost 180,000 of the Anglo-Swedish manufacturer’s doses being sent out to municipalities. Around 50,000 thousand of these doses are still in storage however, as the vaccine’s use has been suspended since March.

Moderna is the least common vaccine in Norway with just over 100,000 doses being handed out to local authorities.   

First dose administered, per county

Unsurprisingly, Oslo and Viken have received the lion’s share of the vaccines so far. This is due to the Oslo being the largest city in Norway and Viken being the most populous county.

More than 220,000 people have been vaccinated with their first dose in Viken and over 120,000 have gotten their first dose in Oslo.

Another reason for Oslo and Viken vaccinating more people than anywhere else is also due to the high infection incidence in the counties. According national health authority NIPH’s latest weekly report, Oslo and Viken County are responsible for almost three quarters of coronavirus infections in Norway.

Troms and Finnmark counties have administered the fewest doses so far. This is due in part to the low population and the government’s prioritisation of vaccines towards Covid-19 hotspots.

Below you can see a map of how many first doses have been administered in each county.

Second dose administered, by county

More than twice the number of people are fully vaccinated in Viken than anywhere else in the country.

There are also five and a half more fully vaccinated people in Viken than in the county with the lowest amount of fully vaccinated people, Troms and Finnmark.

At the time of writing, western county Vestland has the second-highest number of people to have received both their first and second jabs.

The interactive map below shows how many fully vaccinated people there are in each county.

First dose by municipality

Norway’s largest cities dominate the list of municipalities to have given people their first jab.

Oslo has vaccinated more than double the number than the municipality to vaccinate the second most people, Bergen.

The capital municipality has vaccinated more than 2,100 times more people than Utsira, which has given the least people their first jab with 69.

But proportionally, Utsira has vaccinated many more of its inhabitants than Oslo as it only has a population of 211.

You can see the data for all 356 of Norway’s municipalities below.

Second dose by municipality

21 percent of residents in the tiny municipality of Utsira have been fully vaccinated. This is 15.5 percent higher than the national average. In total, 45 people in Utsira are fully vaccinated.

Oslo has fully vaccinated 33,954 of its residents by far, more than double the amount any other municipality has managed to date. Only Oslo and Bergen have vaccinated more than 10,000 people with both doses at present.

Below you can see a map containing the data for each municipality to have administered both doses of a vaccine.