One of the big pushes in digital music at the moment is better, more personalised recommendations based on a greater understanding of each user. It’s perhaps the key reason Spotify bought The Echo Nest, for example. But at a time when digital privacy issues are being widely discussed thanks to revelations about government cybersurveillance, there are risks for any digital service trying to learn as much as possible about its users. “It’s on everybody’s mind, how to help people find music without being creepy about it. There’s a ‘creepy line’ that you have to stay on the right side of. If your music player is asking you where you are and who your friends and what’s on your calendar, you’ve probably crossed the creepy line,” The Echo Nest’s Paul Lamere told Billboard this week. “It’s certainly something we’re very cognizant about. Especially because we’re big in Europe and they have very, very strong data privacy laws… If you remember 15 years ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article “My TiVo Thinks I’m Gay.” If your music player is starting to predict your lifestyle choices, you may be crossing that line. We think a lot about that line.”

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