Access Now calls Spotify to abandon voice recognition technology

Access Now has sent a letter to Spotify calling on the company to abandon the technology underlying its recently granted speech-recognition patent because it presents grave privacy and security concerns. The always-on technology claims to be able to detect, among other things, “emotional state, gender, age, or accent” to recommend music. “There is absolutely no valid reason for Spotify to even attempt to discern how we’re feeling, how many people are in a room with us, our gender, age, or any other characteristic the patent claims to detect,” said Isedua Oribhabor, U.S. Policy Analyst at Access Now. “The millions of people who use Spotify deserve respect and privacy, not covert manipulation and monitoring.”