Now before you get up in arms over privacy concerns, note that Shazam is aware of this and they promise that an update will be coming that will disable it. According to the company’s VP of Global Communications James Pearson, “Even though we don’t recognize a meaningful risk, the company will be updating its Mac app within the next few days.”
In an emailed statement to Ubergizmo, Pearson adds, “One key fact is that Shazam doesn’t record anything, it matches audio to a database. Shazam accesses the microphone on devices for the exclusive purpose of obtaining a small fingerprint of a subset of the soundwaves, which are then used exclusively to find a match in Shazam’s database and then deleted”
“We are always sensitive to what our users experience and we respect these concerns and take them very seriously. Shazam has always learned from and listened to our global community. More importantly, we want our fans to always feel secure about using Shazam on a Mac Desktop.”
Prior to this, Pearson had defended the feature and claimed that it was designed that way. In a statement he made to Motherboard, “There is no privacy issue since the audio is not processed unless the user actively turns the app ‘ON.’ If the mic wasn’t left on, it would take the app longer to both initialize the mic and then start buffering audio, and this is more likely to result in a poor user experience where users ‘miss out’ on a song they were trying to identify.”
In any case we guess Shazam realized that this was a bigger issue that they had thought so kudos to them for the update which should be rolled out in the next few days. Users of the app on the Mac might want to keep an eye out for it.