Spotify has been in the spotlight for several weeks now – but not for the reasons that it would have liked. The music streaming service is one of the first to embrace the new ‘frictionless sharing’ feature Facebook announced at F8. As it turns out, however, Spotify users aren’t too keen on having their listening activity broadcasted on Facebook. With criticism and complaints pouring in from all sides, Spotify was forced to implement a private listening feature which allowed their users to enjoy the service without any oversharing.
The problems didn’t end there. There was a bug that logged users back into their Facebook account even after disconnecting from Facebook. The bug mostly affected those who had a Spotify account before the whole Facebook fiasco began and decided to try connecting their accounts to the social networking site. If they tried to opt out, the service would allow it, but only for a while. The next time they opened their accounts, Spotify would start feeding their listening activity into Facebook’s ticker once again. The users would then have to opt out once more or the service would keep sharing.
Spotify explained the situation and apologized for it, saying, “The issue you were experiencing with the disconnect from Facebook feature was a temporary bug, on account of us rolling out new clients with more privacy settings (such as Private Listening), which caused the feature to break. The feature is now fixed, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
Either way, as a result of the bug, there were users who implicitly said that they wanted nothing to do with the service only to have it leak their listening activity anyway. It was a clear breach of privacy, although unintentional.
The number of users affected by the bug was undisclosed, or perhaps even unknown. If you, by any chance, have a Spotify account, you should check your settings as soon as possible to ensure that it hasn’t been feeding your Facebook ticker with all your musical preferences without your consent.
It’s pretty easy to imagine the embarrassing scenarios made possible by this bug, such as Closet Beiber fever exposés or what not.
It’s a real pity for Spotify, which had been doing quite well before this whole frictionless sharing issue began. The initial hubbub for Spotify’s first blunder had just been dying down when this new blunder once again attracted the ire of its users.