Cnet reports that under the new rules you’ll have to either provide a home address via Google Maps, ensuring everyone else on the plan does the same, or enable location services on your device for the Spotify app to access.
"Once verification of a family member's home address is completed, we do not store their location data or track their location at any time," a Spotify spokesperson confirmed to Cnet after the terms were updated for US users on 5 September.
While the deal is great if you’re a family who can easily prove you live at home there are still problems after these changes. Six people could submit a ‘home’ address on Google Maps and still lie, and not have to turn on location services on the app or on their computers. Premium Family also seems to not acknowledge that many families live apart from one another after the kids grow up – so Spotify’s definition of family means housemates, really.
There is then of course the fact that people don’t want to share where they live anyway, even if they aren’t lying.
Spotify issued a statement on the matter which says:
“This data is encrypted and can be edited by the plan owner as needed. The location data that is collected during Premium Family account creation is only used by Spotify for that purpose. Once verification of a family member’s home address is completed, we do not store their location data or track their location at any time.”
That might be little comfort to people in the wake of heightened awareness about privacy and data ownership after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and decades of people signing up to internet services, unaware that their data was the true cost of using them.
Spotify Premium Family should ideally be different given that it is a paid service, but it looks like it's the only way the company will accept people signing up for this service at a discount rate.