Bose headphones spy on listeners, says lawsuit

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

HIGH-END HEARING HERO Bose is facing legal action after it emerged that its headphones have been recording data about users.

Perhaps the biggest hit is that the lawsuit claims Bose sends the data to a third party.

According to Reuters report, the lawsuit filed by Kyle Zak, claims that Bose uses its smartphone app- Bose Connect app to spy on its users.

The lawsuit filed by Kyle Zak of IL alleges that Bose designed a special app to gather users' private data, such as the names of the tracks and audio files they listened to. Rs 22,600) on his QuietComfort 35 Headphones, Zak was suggested to download the Bose Connect app but he was amused by the fact that the app actually sends crucial information to other third-party services. The app in process sought his info like name and e-mail address, a standard procedure for registering on apps.

"The complaint further related that audio choices gave "an incredible amount of insight" into customers' personalities, behavior, politics and religious views, citing as an example that a person who listens to Muslim prayers may "very likely" be a Muslim".

Zak and his lawyer allege that this usage of customer data violates the Wiretap Act and other state privacy laws. The privacy policy for the Bose Connect app specifically says that it collects and distributes "all available media information" from users, which presumably means everything that they listen to.

The specific headphone models listed in the filing are the QuietComfort 35, SoundSport Wireless, Sound Sport Pulse Wireless, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, and SoundLink Color II.

Bose has not responded to these claims, but the allegations are worrisome considering we live in a digital environment where our privacy never seems to be truly private.

Zak adds in the complaint that Bose "intentionally concealed the Bose Wireless Products' collection, transmission, and disclosure practices because it knew that consumers would not otherwise purchase their products".

The lawsuit says the case is worth more than $5 million but doesn't specify damages. That's based on independent research that has yet to be proven, and Bose hasn't commented on the suit.

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