Spotify Is Now Allowed to Listen to Your Conversations
The streamer has been granted a patent that aims to record users' speech and learn your gender, age, accent and mood
Published Jan 29, 2021Raising some serious red flags when it comes to privacy, Spotify has been granted a patent to use technology that aims to record users' conversations and background noise to better recommend content.
Spotify first filed for the patent in 2018, but it was only just approved on January 12, Music Business Worldwide reports, essentially allowing the music streamer to siphon off much more personal information from users, including their conversations.
As the patent lays out, the technology will extract the "intonation, stress, rhythm, and the likes of units of speech" from Spotify users' voices, allowing the streamer to get metadata like your gender, age, accent and mood. Then, Spotify would use this information to better recommend music choices — and no doubt ads.
The filing reads: "What is needed is an entirely different approach to collecting taste attributes of a user, particularly one that is rooted in technology so that the above-described human activity (e.g., requiring a user to provide input) is at least partially eliminated and performed more efficiently."
It adds: "The user is then further asked to provide additional information to narrow down the number even further. In one example, the user is pushed to a decision tree including, e.g., artists or shows that the user likes, and fills in or selects options to further fine-tune the system's identification of their tastes."
But while Spotify has been granted the patent to use such technology, it's very unclear at this point if it would ever actually be implemented.
In a statement to Pitchfork, a Spotify spokesperson addressed the patent and said the following:
Spotify has filed patent applications for hundreds of inventions, and we regularly file new applications. Some of these patents become part of future products, while others don't. Our ambition is to create the best audio experience out there, but we don't have any news to share at this time.
You can view the entire patent over here.