If you are thinking, can Spotify manipulate your emotions? Well, it seems likely it can. Spotify’s new speech recognition patent granted recently can be a cause of privacy and security concerns.
The technology is always ON mode, which means it is able to understand everything from your “emotional state, gender, age, or accent” while recommending music for you.
The system processes the audio signals ie. voice and background noise and speech recognition is performed to retrieve the speech content of the voice. The retrieved content metadata corresponds with the speech content and the environmental metadata corresponds to the background noise. The process determines the preferences for media content corresponding to the content metadata and the environmental metadata. After which it provides an output corresponding to the preferences.
Access Now a business and human rights organization has sent a letter to Spotify requesting it to abandon the technology patent for which has already been granted.
Concerns raised in the letter
- Emotion Manipulation: Since the new tech can monitor the emotional state and make recommendations based on it, Spotify could end up getting excessive power in relation to a user.
- Gender discrimination: impossible to conclude one’s gender without discriminating against trans and non-binary people.
- Privacy violations: Being in Always ON mode it will continuously monitor, process voice data, and likely ingesting sensitive information.
- Data security: Collect private data resulting in Spotify could be used for snooping government authorities and malicious hackers seeking information.
Isedua Oribhabor, U.S. Policy Analyst at Access Now said
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. The millions of people who use Spotify deserve respect and privacy, not covert manipulation and monitoring.