Spotify may soon be listening to you. The music-streaming company has been granted a patent to technology that could listen to users’ speech and background noise in order to guess one’s age, gender and emotional state and tailor music recommendations based on those criteria. The patent was filed in 2018 and approved on January 12th, 2021.

The news was caught by Music Business Worldwide, who provided a copy of the patent for readers to view.

Pitchfork noted that the patent’s approval doesn’t necessarily mean that Spotify will implement it into their service, nor does it confirm the technology already exists or is purely speculative. A Spotify rep told Pitchfork:

Spotify has filed patent applications for hundreds of inventions, and we regularly file new applications. Some of these patents become part of future products, while others don’t. Our ambition is to create the best audio experience out there, but we don’t have any news to share at this time.

Nevertheless, the idea of having one’s preferred streaming service listen to its listener unsettled social media users, who didn’t like the idea of having their privacy invaded.

My emotional state is mind your own fucking business, are you getting that? Are you picking that up?

ā€” pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) January 29, 2021

love of music redefined as a weakness to be profiled and exploited

ā€” š”»š•–š•–š•£š•™š• š• š•— (@deerhoof) January 28, 2021

i love how much work is being put in to deprive people the act of self reflection or self discovery

ā€” š“†± ZJ (@ZOLAJESUS) January 28, 2021

Others were reminded of various other frustrations with Spotify, including the low wages they pay artists per stream.

how about they patent new technology that allows them to ACTUALLY PAY ARTISTS

ā€” chase (@nvctve) January 28, 2021

Niggas can do everything but give us 1 penny

ā€” blu…

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