Spotify Encourages Journalists to Plug in Random USB Drives

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As part of a promotion for a podcast, Spotify sent USB drives to journalists. But the move was criticized by computer security researchers.

But anyone with basic security training under their hat — which here at TechCrunch we do — will know to never plug in a USB drive without taking some precautions first.

Plugging in random USB drives is a bigger problem than you might think. Elie Bursztein, a Google security researcher, found in his own research that about half of all people will plug into their computer random USB drives.

I doubt anyone at Spotify was clueless about the security risk. But negative publicity is still publicity.

Spotify Reaches 113 Million Paid Subscribers

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Spotify announced that it reached 113 million paid subscribers around the world, and it’s growing twice as fast as Apple Music.

We continue to feel very good about our competitive position in the market. Relative to Apple, the publicly available data shows that we are adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as they are. Additionally, we believe that our monthly engagement is roughly 2x as high and our churn is at half the rate.

Spotify Wants to Track Your Location so Friends Don't Use a Family Plan

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In more location tracking news today, Spotify wants to track yours because non-family members sometimes use Family Plans *gasp!*.

“The changes to the policy allow Spotify to arbitrarily use the location of an individual to ascertain if they continue to reside at the same address when using a family account, and it’s unclear how often Spotify will query users’ devices for this information,” said Christopher Weatherhead, technology lead for UK watchdog group Privacy International, adding that there are “worrying privacy implications.”