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Tom Morello & other artists sign open letter protesting Spotify’s voice-recognition technology

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Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Audible

Artists including Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello have signed an open letter demanding that Spotify never “use, license, sell, or monetize” its voice-recognition technology, which was patented earlier this year.

According to the patent file, the tech would allow Spotify to listen to your voice to determine factors including gender, age and accent, as well as “emotional state,” to recommend music.

In their letter, the artists write that such technology is “dangerous, a violation of privacy and other human rights, and should not be implemented by Spotify or any other company.”

“You can’t rock out when you’re under constant corporate surveillance,” Morello says. “Spotify needs to drop this right now and do right by musicians, music fans, and all music workers.”

While Spotify previously said that it has “never implemented the technology described in the patent in any of our products and we have no plans to do so,” the signees of the letter wonder why the company was ever “exploring its use.”

“We call on your company to make a public commitment to never use, license, sell, or monetize the recommendation technology,” the letter reads. “Even if Spotify doesn’t use it, your company could profit from the surveillance tool if another entity deploys it. Any use of this technology is unacceptable.”

Other artists who’ve signed include Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace, Talib Kweli and Eve 6. For more info, visit StopSpotifySurveillance.org.

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