Spotify bug kept sharing music on Facebook even after opting out

Summary:A recently fixed bug was causing Spotify users to keep sharing their music on Facebook, even if they had explicitly disconnected the social network from the music streaming service. Check your settings.

Spotify recently fixed a bug that logged users back into their Facebook accounts even after they had opted out of the feature. The music streaming service has been trying to appease a group of its users who do not want anything to do with Facebook, or at the very least who want to keep their Spotify and Facebook accounts separate.

"The issue you were experiencing with the disconnect from Facebook feature was a temporary bug, on account of us rolling out new clients with more privacy settings (such as Private Listening), which caused the feature to break," a Spotify spokesperson told All Things Digital. "This feature is now fixed, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused."

The bug in question affected users who joined Spotify before Facebook announced a new type of social app under its Open Graph at its 2011 f8 developer conference last month. If these users then connected their accounts to Facebook and tried to opt out of sharing their music activity on Facebook by disconnecting their Facebook account in the Spotify menu or preferences tab, they may have unknowingly started sharing again the next time they quit and reopened the app.

Apparently, the Spotify app disregarded users having disconnected their Facebook accounts, and logged them back in the next time they loaded the app. As a result, users who explicitly said they no longer wanted to share their music listening activity with their Facebook friends may have continued to share songs on the social network.

It's not clear how many users shared their Spotify music activity on Facebook when they thought they were not sharing. Either way though, if you want to keep Facebook and Spotify separate, you should probably check your settings again, just to make sure they weren't reverted recently.

The issue shows just how much Spotify was in a rush to appease its users over Facebook complaints. It's ironic that doing so resulted in another privacy problem.

Following f8, many users complained about Spotify's new Facebook requirement. Although the company initially defended its decision, it eventually backed down and offered a private listening option.

Update:

"Spotify recently became aware of a temporary bug which impacted upon the 'disconnect from Facebook' feature," a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement. "This occurred on account of Spotify rolling out enhanced privacy settings (such as Private Listening), which caused the feature to break. The feature only affected users who registered with Spotify before our Facebook integration. We can confirm that the disconnect feature is now fixed, and apologise for any inconvenience caused. We would like to affirm that all Spotify users can always control what they share and choose to not to share on Facebook by changing the settings at any time. In addition, for those users who also want an easy way to hide their occasional guilty pleasures, we have now added a new 'Private Listening' mode, which will stop sharing what you're listening to until you turn it off, or until the next time you log in."

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.