Help Wizard

Step 1


Why does Spotify refuse to answer reasons for app permissions?

Why does Spotify refuse to answer reasons for app permissions?

This issue was previously raised here, to no avail:


And here's how Android Central describes the other permission that I believe was added recently (at least the ability to read numbers): 


The most abused, and least understood permission of them all.  Some apps need to know if your phone is about to ring.  Maybe they need to save state (ie freeze what they're doing) for when the incoming call screen pops up, or they need to turn over audio control back to the OS.  But this is also the one that can read, and send your IMEI and other identifying information back to some random server on the Internet.  Often, these unique numbers are needed as piracy control, or to keep track of you without using any more sensitive personal information.  The issue is when developers use these numbers for things like remembering your preferences for online services or app history.  Remember the big wallpaper app scare?  After some investigation, we learned the developer was using your device ID to keep track of your favorite wallpapers on his servers.  Seemingly harmless, but not the right way to handle it.  My only advice here is to be sure you trust the developers of the app when you see this one.  Or take a moment to email them and ask why they need this permission.


Why does Spotify need these permissions? And can we really trust you as a company since you already were hacked and didn't explain much beyond a strange PR release that raised more questions than answers? I get that it needs to know if the phone is ringing to stop the music, but why the others?


I've searched high and low on this site and can't find anywhere that Spotify answers why it needs each permission. This should be standard for any company that considers itself a billion dollar valuation. It should be updated with clear, non-techie language each time the permissions are updated. 


Please don't ignore this, it should be a priority and absolutely simple to do (I know, like Chromecast, but I'm stupidly optimistic. Or at least one of those.). 



4 Replies

Congratulations on finding a new axe to grind. I was beginning to think you had deserted us 🙂


As you well know, this is NOT an official support forum (it even says so in the Community Guidelines) so if you are serious about getting an official response, use the contact form.

I promise I'll leave as soon as Spotify creates a real customer support system!


So it looks like you'll be stuck with me for a while 🙂


To be clear, the guidelines say: "Keep in mind that most of the information or other material posted in the Community is user generated and not official support provided by Spotify. As with any information or advice, obtained through any medium, you should use your judgment and exercise caution where appropriate, regardless of from whom such material originates."


Key word: "most"....they're saying, if some troublemaker posts a link to an unauthorized apk full of viruses here, don't come complaining to us. It's more legal liability than policy. We all know there's plenty of official advice and support given here. The contact form is actually their third-listed method for problems:


And we all know most people just get back a general form that doesn't address the issue and points people to the forum. It's a vicious circle of their own creation. 


Although maybe you're right and no one at Spotify does read these forums, otherwise there's no way they'd let that Chromecast thread get so large with so many people quitting and not address the issue...


At any rate, you can't disagree and say these aren't questions you want the answer to as well...we can't trust Spotify not to be hacked, so why should we trust what information they're gathering from us unnecessarily? I think ALL app developers, especially ones with millions and millions of paying subscribers, should be very transparent on this front, don't you?


The desription of the wi-fi permission is:


Allows the app to view information about Wi-Fi networking, such as whether Wi-Fi is enabled and name of connected Wi-Fi devices.

Although the permission covers a range of things, I think it is most likely that Spotify is using it to detect if you are connected to a Wi-FI network (possibly to determine if it should download offline playlists).


The "read phone status and identity" permission appears to be used by a lot of music apps to allow them to pause when the phone rings.



Thanks for the answer! But why would Spotify have just added these permissions within the last couple months? Surely these had to have been in place since the very first edition? And it specifically asked for the number of callers...not the phone state. 


I'm hoping to get an official Spotify answer, and for them to add this to their FAQ. As noted in the other thread, Peter pinged them for an answer and never heard back. This should be something they're very transparent about, especially when they're adding new ones. Considering all the unanswered questions about the hack, Spotify owes this to us. 


Joe, I know you think I'm a nuisance, but there's two things that can happen by me continuing to grind my axe: 1) Nothing or 2) Spotify improves its customer service. I'm willing to be an annoyance for even the smallest chance it forces Spotify to wake up and improve the user experience. 


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