by Bill Forman
OK, then, get ready for Drawback No. 3. Turns out Spotify, along with Hulu and a number of other companies, has been using a particularly virulent online tracking service to mine information about subscribers' Internet habits — one that, as Berkeley researcher Ashkan Soltani told wired.com on Friday, uses "practically every known method to circumvent user attempts to protect their privacy."
Spotify and Hulu have since discontinued use of the service, which is provided by a Northern California company called KISSmetrics. Meanwhile, the good folks at KISSmetrics are insisting none of the data can be traced back to the individual visitors it spies upon.
All that might be somewhat reassuring, were it not for the prominent post that jumped out at me when I visited KISSmetrics' blog. Titled "7 Sneaky Ways to Use Facebook to Spy on Your Competition," it's a sequel to the company's previously posted "7 Sneaky Ways to Use Twitter to Spy on Your Competition."
"These days," begins the latter article, "spying on your competition is easier than ever."
But spying on customers? Why, that would be unthinkable.