Spotify Caught Making Users’ Private Playlists Public

Spotify, the popular music streaming service, is reportedly making users’ private playlists public without their consent.

William Devereux, a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft Edge, tweeted on Friday that, apparently all his private playlists were suddenly made public without his consent

“Apparently @SpotifyUSA silently made all of my private playlists public without my consent. The same happened to my wife too,” tweeted Devereux.

“That’s an absolutely unacceptable privacy violation. Anyone else noticed this happen recently? I haven’t changed any privacy settings.”

Devereux’s tweet also received replies from a few other Spotify subscribers who were facing a similar issue.

This is not the first time that this privacy issue has cropped up, as a similar complaint was highlighted by a professional music curator on the Spotify Community forums in March 2022.

“I use Spotify for my work as a music curator. I’ve always worked with the “Make my new lists public” option off and check to make sure they are not listed as public. I have revisited some lists made a month or so ago and they are all public now. Looking at more and they are now public as well!,” wrote the user on Spotify’s forums.

“Why has this happened? is there a way to make bulk lists private? I don’t want to spend days of my life changing them one by one, there are over 1400 lists and I cant invoice for that time so it will take away from may wages. Please help. This is bad.”

Back in March 2022, a user offered a theory on the privacy issue stating, “The actual settings of our playlists haven’t changed. What was formerly known as ‘private’ and ‘public’ playlists are now all called ‘public’, since they weren’t actually private previously, as they could be shared through a link.”

The user further added that a new level of truly private playlists had been introduced, which could not be accessed by others even with a link. Only playlists marked as ‘on profile’, which means it is visible when viewing as a user, can be found via search or in the “Discovered on” section on artist pages.

In response to reports of the alleged privacy breach in March, a Spotify Community moderator clarified that “Spotify doesn’t make such bulk changes and will not mess around with the settings of your collection/personal account unless you have requested this explicitly…”.

Currently, there is no clarity if the recent issue and the one reported in March 2022 are linked to each other or are separate incidents.

Spotify has not yet commented on the report. Keep watching this space for more updates, as this is a developing story!

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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