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Spotify just shut down that test asking family-plan users to confirm their address via GPS

Reuters/Patrick Semansky
That’s over.
  • Aisha Hassan
By Aisha Hassan

Contributor

This article is more than 2 years old.

Spotify says it is done asking family-plan users to confirm their location.

In an email to Quartz, the company said it has ended testing that asked some “Premium for Family” account users to confirm their home address through GPS data. In emails to sent to some users within the past two weeks, Spotify had told them: “If you don’t confirm, you may lose access to the plan.”

The testing shutdown was confirmed today, a day after Quartz reported on it. Family-plan holders were particularly annoyed that Spotify appeared to be saying all members using one family account would have to live at the same address. They pointed out that not all families live in the same home—some members may work abroad, or parents might be separated.

The move also prompted fears that the music-streaming company wanted GPS data to confirm users’ locations, and the privacy and security implications. Links in Spotify’s test emails took users to a series of pages that stated, “Spotify will only use your GPS data to verify your location and nothing else,” but some complained that the policy created a “hostile user experience,” and family account users in Germany expressed particular frustration at data collection (tweet in German).

It is unclear why Spotify rolled out the test in the first place, and at this time. Billboard speculated last month that cracking down on family plans and password-sharing could help the company compensate for slipping average revenue per user.

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