Our Principles for Respecting your Data

The web is getting worse: our every move tracked, mouse click sold and resold, algorithms programming our minds with the same milquetoast content. Streaming music feels like listening to muzak. MAJR is taking a different approach.

Put simply, we use data to make music awesome for artists and for fans. We make two kinds of products: tools and marketplaces. Both of these are built with rules in place to make sure your personal data is treated with integrity and respect.

Before we wrote any code at MAJR, we spent countless hours discussing the role of data collection and analysis in our company. We talked about the unnatural incentives present in the technology industry to surveil and sell data; we discussed growth-at-all-costs capitalism and what that implies for monetization. We talked about our ethical beliefs and most importantly, we asked artists for what they wanted and needed.

One of our most successful meetings was a simulation session: we ran through fictional cases of data breaches, lucrative business opportunities and other enrichment scenarios and asked ourselves how we’d respond. We pushed ourselves to clear decisions. Then we abstracted those choices into our data principles.  We think every company should be doing this kind of investigation, ideally before building any products.

Here are our beliefs in plain English:

1. Artists and fans control their personal data

  • We will respect your privacy on our services, giving you controls to manage your personal data and how it is used in the experience
  • We will not sell your personal data to third-parties for marketing purposes
  • If you delete your account, we will not retain your personal data for any purposes other than legally required

2. You aren’t the product

  • We will not use surveillance of your personal data to sell advertising on our services
  • We will not require artists to favor MAJR over competing music services
  • We will be transparent about promotion and marketing and always attempt to apply our logic consistently and objectively

3. No Digital Payola

  • We will not take positions that unreasonably preference ranking or recommendation of music or artists
  • We will publish details on how our algorithms choose recommendations and take feedback from artists on how to always be improving
  • We will always seek to put user controls on algorithmic recommendation

4. Choice

  • We will provide all your personal data in a downloadable format upon request
  • For artists, subject to fan choice, we will provide as much direct fan community and commerce as possible
  • We will work to always provide the choice to opt-out to notifications and newsletters

5. When we mess up we’ll own it

Data isn’t all bad - it’s simply a matter of how respectfully and thoughtfully data is used. To date, too many in tech have recklessly collected, surveilled and resold data without deep consideration to their own integrity or the societal consequences. We believe these principles will make MAJR a different kind of company.

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