apology Stories August 21, 2015

AAPL: 105.76

-6.89

Spotify apologizes for its new controversial privacy policy

Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek published a blog post today apologizing and attempting to clarify its recently updated privacy policy that proved to be controversial among some users and press. In the post, Ek explains that updated terms granting Spotify access to more of users’ personal information is only to further customize the Spotify experience and that giving up that data will be entirely an opt-in experience for users:

In our new privacy policy, we indicated that we may ask your permission to access new types of information, including photos, mobile device location, voice controls, and your contacts. Let me be crystal clear here: 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.

The post goes on to clarify exactly why Spotify is requesting each new type of data and for what it will be used. While most of the data is being used to personalize the listening experience for users, the caveat is that it does reserve the right to share data with advertisers, rights holders, and mobile networks:

Sharing: The Privacy Policy also mentions advertisers, rights holders and mobile networks. This is not new. With regard to mobile networks, some Spotify subscribers sign up through their mobile provider, which means some information is shared with them by necessity. We also share some data with our partners who help us with marketing and advertising efforts, but this information is de-identified – your personal information is not shared with them.

But how does that compare to other music services? Wired put together a good breakdown of exactly what user data competing music services reserve the right to access via their privacy policies. The majority of the services all request similar data, although a few differ on accessing contacts and media files and sharing with third-parties, while others don’t have much disclosure regarding location tracking.

apology Stories January 9, 2014

PSA: Snapchat update offers phone number opt out after API abuse

Following recent API abuse that lead to phone numbers and usernames being exposed, Snapchat, the social photo sharing app, has updated its iPhone app with the option to opt out of linking your phone number with your username. The feature was intended to increase social discoverability among mutual contacts, but was recently abused leading to the following update and apology:

Find Friends Improvements

This morning we released a Snapchat update for Android and iOS that improves Find Friends functionality and allows Snapchatters to opt-out of linking their phone number with their username. This option is available in Settings > Mobile #.

This update also requires new Snapchatters to verify their phone number before using the Find Friends service.

Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.

Love,

Team Snapchat

The update is available now on for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store.

apology Stories April 10, 2013

Comixology, not Apple, responsible for not publishing controversial comic

Comixology CEO Dan Steinberge addressed the company’s customers today clarifying that Apple was not responsible for withholding its comic Saga #12 from the Comixology iOS app.

In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify.

As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.

In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify.

As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.

We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.

Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.

Steinberger went on to say that its decision to not publish Saga #12 was based on a more conservative interpretation of Apple’s guidelines.

After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.

Comixology’s apology wraps up what became a public contention against Apple and it’s App Store policies.

apology Stories November 2, 2012

Apple removes Samsung apology from UK website, publishes altered newspaper ad

Yesterday, we told you the U.K. Court of Appeal in London ordered Apple to remove “inaccurate comments” from the Samsung apology posted on its U.K. website within 24 hours. As part of the initial ruling, Apple was also supposed to post newspaper advertisements in the country explaining the court ruled Samsung did not copy the iPad’s design. Today, Apple removed the apology from its U.K. website, but it has yet to publish an altered version removing the four paragraphs the court took issue with. Apple originally requested 14 days to make changes, but the judge rejected that request.

At least Apple’s newspaper ad did not include the “not as cool” statements the courts had a problem with. TheNextWeb posted the image above; showing one of Apple’s ads ran in this morning’s Guardian.

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