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Spotify - tracking user location?

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  • Looking at the tread they are setting up a family account and then inviting people to share the costs. Spotify are spotting that they are on a non mobile IP and geolocation is telling them that they are in different areas, that's triggering their internal fraud detection and kicking them on. There is nothing wrong with that. They aren't tracking your movements.




  • Spotify does not have access to location, see attached.




  • There would be a load of different metrics that could be gathered to "score" a particular account for fraud detection purposes.

    Location would likely result in abnormally high fraud detection rates if you think about it - how many people's use of spotify would be primarily out and about, on free wifi, at a friend's house, at work, etc?

    It's likely something as simple as mentioned above - tracking logins from specific types of devices and ISPs. If two people often log into Spotify from Windows devices, but never with the same internet provider or WiFi name, then they're probably not living in the same house.




  • They don't need to do it through the app. It'll be the same as Netflix. Use it on your PC/Laptop and they know what regional library to present to you. It's no different with Spotify.
    seamus wrote: »
    There would be a load of different metrics that could be gathered to "score" a particular account for fraud detection purposes.

    Location would likely result in abnormally high fraud detection rates if you think about it - how many people's use of spotify would be primarily out and about, on free wifi, at a friend's house, at work, etc?

    It's likely something as simple as mentioned above - tracking logins from specific types of devices and ISPs. If two people often log into Spotify from Windows devices, but never with the same internet provider or WiFi name, then they're probably not living in the same house.

    I often do all those things. They'll be more interested in concurrent usage and range between them, if it's a Family account. If there's nothing that matches regularly, it'll suggest the family isn't within a household. But they wouldn't be going into the level of detail you suggest there, that just generates noise.




  • They don't need to do it through the app. It'll be the same as Netflix. Use it on your PC/Laptop and they know what regional library to present to you. It's no different with Spotify.



    I often do all those things. They'll be more interested in concurrent usage and range between them, if it's a Family account. If there's nothing that matches regularly, it'll suggest the family isn't within a household. But they wouldn't be going into the level of detail you suggest there, that just generates noise.

    Can you expand a bit on this Dravokivich for me please. When you say range between them how would that be measured if not tracking location? And concurrent usage within what area? Thanks.


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  • Can you expand a bit on this Dravokivich for me please. When you say range between them how would that be measured if not tracking location? And concurrent usage within what area? Thanks.

    Let's assume that you have a family account with 6 users.

    Let's say everyone has a phone and a tablet - that's fairly normal.
    If everyone suddenly logs into Spotify on a unique TV, a unique computer, a unique SkyQ box, etc., you'd want some household to have six separate lots of devices!

    Then looking at the activity of the users, they'd want to be one antisocial family if all six users are regularly streaming Spotify simultaneously.

    Then look at the internet connection from which that activity is coming - if all users regularly stream simultaneously from separate internet connections, it's unlikely they are all in the same household. You would expect some activity across all devices connected to the one family account through the household WiFi at some point and why would a household have (up to) six internet connections?

    Or perhaps they all go abroad at varying times of the year to different locations - you'd expect a married couple would holiday together, or a family with parents and kids would all go to the same place.

    Spotify will be automatically tracking all of the above (and more) and they'll assign a score to each family account based on the number and frequency of oddities that they identify. The higher the oddities and frequency, the higher the score you get.

    Start targeting the highest scoring accounts and begin working backwards until you arrive at a point where the false positives outweigh the genuine fudging. That's your baseline score. Keep an eye on any accounts which exceed that score going forward.


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