Spotify updated its Privacy Policy this week and sparked a firestorm of criticism and privacy concerns, prompting the company CEO to issue a public apology.

The recent update to Spotify's Privacy Policy informed users that the music service would gain access to their photos, microphone and contacts stored on the device, in addition to location information. These changes sparked a lot of controversy, negative reactions and complaints regarding user privacy, with many lashing out at Spotify for taking it too far.

In a new company blog post titled "Sorry," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek apologizes for the matter, clarifies some aspects and promises to protect user privacy.

"If you don't want to share this kind of information, you don't have to. We will ask for your express permission before accessing any of this data - and we will only use it for specific purposes that will allow you to customize your Spotify experience," Ek explains.

Throughout the apologetic blog post, the CEO repeatedly highlights that Spotify will never access users' photos, location, contacts and voice control without their permission. Spotify needs permission to one's photos to decorate a playlist, for instance, while location information would help it offer personalized recommendations. At the same time, the service would need to access your device's microphone so you can take advantage of voice controls, such as telling it to skip a track. Access to contacts, meanwhile, allows Spotify to do a cross-reference with your contacts lists to see which of your friends are also on the service.

When it comes to sharing, Ek notes that in the case of Spotify subscribers who sign up through their mobile provider, Spotify has to share some information with those providers "by necessity." At the same time, the music service also shares some information with its marketing and advertising partners, but that doesn't include personal information as all data is "de-identified."

Lastly, the CEO says that Spotify will update its new Privacy Policy in the following weeks. In the meantime, customers who still have questions or complaints can send an email to Spotify at privacycomments@spotify.com and express their concerns.

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