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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on privacy policy dust-up: 'Sorry'

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on privacy policy dust-up: 'Sorry'
Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, speaks to reporters at a New York news conference in May. (Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images)

Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek has a message for users angry over its new privacy policy: "Sorry."

Ek sought Friday to clarify the 7-year-old company's changed terms after some users declared that they would quit the popular streaming music app in protest.

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The Swedish company, which counts 75 million users, caused a stir this week when it instituted the new policy that indicated it would be able to access user information, including photos, location, voice controls and contacts.

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The responses were indicative of a data-collection age where online privacy is a touchy subject.

Tech writers from the likes of Wired and Forbes called the policy "eerie" and "creepy."

Markus Persson, the Swedish creator of Minecraft, tweeted that he had canceled his Spotify account.

"Hello," he wrote to the tech company's Twitter account. "As a consumer, I've always loved your service. You're the reason I stopped pirating music. Please consider not being evil."

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In the aftermath, Ek took to his company's blog in an attempt to calm users' nerves.

"Let me be crystal clear here: If you don't want to share this kind of information, you don't have to," he wrote in a post. "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 CEO added that the company would "update" its policy language and apologized for the "confusion" that the new privacy policy caused, but did not indicate that there would be any changes to the policy itself.

"We understand people's concerns about their personal information and are 100 percent committed to protecting our users' privacy and ensuring that you have control over the information you share," the post said.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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