How Much Data Does Spotify Collect and Share About You? Here’s How To Find Out

how to limit data Spotify collects about you

Photo Credit: Tianyi Ma

Spotify collects data about your listening activity and playlist history, of course. But it also collects more personal data about yourself.

According to Spotify’s own privacy policy, some of the data it collects includes your name, email address, phone number, date of birth, gender, address, GPS location, login info, billing info, IP address, and device information. Some of the device information that Spotify collects include your operating system (iOS, Android), phone model, browser, and WiFi network-connected devices.

Spotify shares this collected data with its third-party advertising partners to create personalized ads tailored to specific audiences. It has allowed Spotify to create a vast audio empire of advertisements that can be eerily familiar. So is there any way to limit the data Spotify collects and how it shares that information? The short answer is yes, but it’s complicated and spread across the web, desktop, and mobile apps.

How to Change Spotify Privacy Settings

The first place to start is the Spotify web version. Spotify doesn’t make its privacy controls easily accessible via its mobile or desktop apps. Instead, you’ll need to login to Spotify via a browser to change these settings.

  1. Login to Spotify’s website in your browser of choice.
  2. Click your user icon and navigate to Account > Edit Profile.
  3. Remove or edit any personal information you don’t want.
  4. Uncheck the option, “Share my registration data with Spotify’s content providers for marketing purposes.”
  5. Then ‘Save Changes‘ to keep these data settings.

Remember how I said Spotify users the data it collects about you to tailor advertisements? You can limit this, but the feature is hidden in its privacy settings.

  1. Navigate to Account > Privacy Settings.
  2. Turn off “Process my personal data for tailored ads.”
  3. Turn off “Process my Facebook data.”

This third step is very important if you’ve ever linked your Spotify and Facebook accounts. Spotify can connect you to your network of friends through Facebook data.

How to Review Spotify App Connections

You can also review all of the external apps linked to your Spotify account. You should remove any service you’re not actively using, including old devices like smart speakers. Navigate to Account > Apps to see which apps can access your Spotify account.

What data has Spotify collected about me?

Want to review your Spotify data to see which data the music streaming service has collected about you? At the bottom of the Privacy Settings page, there’s an option to download Spotify data. You cannot remove this data from your account, but it does show your personal information, listening and search history, and any other data the company has collected. Note: it can take up to 30 days for Spotify to get your data ready for download.

How to Hide Playlists & Listening Activity

Don’t want to share your playlists and listening activity with any of your friends? You can turn off this feature and keep them private depending on how you’re listening to Spotify.

Desktop

  • Click on your profile image, then Settings > Social.
  • Turn off “Make my new playlists public.”
  • Turn off “Share my listening activity on Spotify.”

Mobile (iOS, Android)

  • Tap the ‘Settings’ icon.
  • Scroll down to ‘Social.’
  • Disable ‘Listening Activity.’

Does Spotify have a private listening mode?

The short answer is yes, but you have to activate it each time you want to listen to music without sharing it. Here’s how to do so.

Mobile (iOS, Android)

  • Navigate to Settings > Social.
  • Tap ‘enable private session.’
  • Repeat before every listening session.

Desktop

  • Click your profile picture, then ‘private session.’

This feature only stops others from seeing what music you’re playing on Spotify. It doesn’t stop Spotify from collecting listening data or playlist history about your session. Spotify’s privacy policy does note that listening in private mode may not influence recommendations as heavily, however.