Spotify: 'SORRY.'

Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, took to the company blog to clarify his company's intentions with regards to the hubbub about their privacy policy:

We are in the middle of rolling out new terms and conditions and privacy policy and they’ve caused a lot of confusion about what kind of information we access and what we do with it. We apologize for that. We should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean and how any information you choose to share will – and will not – be used.

No shit.

All of the things he lists sound like perfectly reasonable and well intentioned uses for potential features, gathered and used only with explicit permission from the user. However, making sweeping changes to your Terms of Service–especially with regards to user data when this week has had no shortage of scary headlines–adding in nebulous language surrounding the collection and usage of a listener's private data... Well, what was the expected reaction?

I want to believe people are being more mindful about what information they put out there. As private data becomes the target of more attacks, users will be more wary of things they find intrusive. Not everyone will go through and scour the Terms of Service of everything they use, but it only takes a single news story to feed into the Artificial Internet Outrage Machine to damage your company's reputation. All companies can learn a lesson from this: be clear, be direct with your intentions. If you're not, people will assume the worst.