You share your Spotify feed, but will you also view your Google or Facebook feed? | technology


Social networks are flooded these days with an explosion of colours, geometric shapes and attitude. People share the screenshots that matter most to them from the Spotify Wrapped, the annual summary of consumption that the platform prepares for each user. flow Music. The motives are varied: to feel unique, to show that our tastes are the most, to attract attention.

We must realize that what Spotify has achieved has a lot of advantages. Its users proudly display some of the data the company has extracted from their listening habits, giving them a massive marketing campaign for free. The phenomenon has implications from a privacy point of view. Those who share Wrapped not only know that Spotify collects and analyzes data about their lives (how many hours and what time of day music is listened to, favorite bands and podcasts, favorite styles), but they also have no qualms about making it public.

Would you do the same for other information that Spotify stores but doesn’t appear in the annual summary? The platform doesn’t just know the name, address, or age of its followers. Musical tastes say a lot about people. More than it might seem. If you listen all day heavy metal But in the afternoon you prefer nursery rhymes, most likely we are dealing with dad or mom. if it is flow Stop working at game time, we could have a football fan in front of us. If very rhythmic music is heard first thing in the morning or in the afternoon resting with usual consumption, the theme may be runner or an athlete.

The Swedish-origin company makes what it considers in its privacy policy to be “inferences”: based on your music consumption patterns and preferences, the company’s data analysts and social scientists develop profiles with certain personality traits. You can specify how likely a user is to be bold or shy, more or less sociable, or even left or right. He arrived at these conclusions through complex statistical models that rely on the correlation of widely diverse data.

Spotify performs a mathematical analysis of songs, examining beats, tempos, and melodies, and looking for values ​​associated with each available band or theme. Thus, it assigns a value to each song, which in turn generates another value when combined with the songs in the user lists. All this information is crossed with data collected about the user by the platform itself or by third parties, such as Facebook. Investigation The New York Times It revealed in 2018 that Mark Zuckerberg’s social network shared sensitive user data with about 150 companies, including Spotify.

And why does he do all this? Spotify, like many other tech companies, analyzes and requests all this torrent of information from its users so that advertisers can show their ads to the audience that matches what they’re selling. This is how the so-called segmented or targeted advertising works, which is the cornerstone of the modern digital economy.

Spotify shares your data with Facebook by default, unless you tell it not to. They also use information about your music consumption to deliver personalized ads to you. This option can also be deactivated, though not completely: the platform will stop sharing your “aggregated” data with advertisers, but will still serve ads “based on your Spotify registration information and usage data over time.” real.”

One indicator works to get an idea of ​​the complexity of personal data analysis performed by tech companies: the length of their terms and conditions of service. The text that appears at the top of the tab that we usually accept without reading it every time we install an application. Spotify offers an 8,600-word document, which equates to about 35 minutes of reading. Twice as Facebook, Amazon or YouTube, three times as much as Instagram or Netflix and ahead of Twitter, LinkedIn or Tinder. It has been surpassed only by Microsoft, which set a record with 17,000 words and more than an hour of reading.

But the Spotify Wrapped ire raises another interesting question. Will those who share it on the networks do the same with the annual summaries prepared by other big platforms? Google has a lot of information about you. Again, you use it to display advertisements that may be of interest to you. But he also knows where and who you were last night, what kind of porn you like and if you actually went on a business trip in those days you were away. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, knows your salary range and if you voted right even if you pretended to be left.

Summary tabs can be very entertaining. They will be useful in understanding how much we are scrutinized in the digital age. And there may also be people willing to share it.

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