Lawsuit claims Bose collects user data without their knowledge

Isaac Cain
April 21, 2017

Bose Corporation known for producing top quality speakers, headphones and audio systems has been sued by a customer because the company "spies" on its "wireless headphone customers".

A new lawsuit against Bose alleges that the company spies on users of its wireless headphones, tracking the music, podcasts, and other audio that they listen to and using the data for monetary gain.

"People should be uncomfortable with it", Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, told Reuters. The app in process sought his info like name and e-mail address, a standard procedure for registering on apps. However, Bose failed to notify customers that the app collects, transmits and discloses customers' private audio and music selections to third parties, including data mining companies, the class complaint said.

"Indeed, one's personal audio selections-including music, radio broadcast, podcast, and lecture choices- provide an incredible amount of insight into his or her personality, behavior, political views, and personal identity". The complaint uses the example that someone listening to Muslim prayers would "very likely" be a Muslim.

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A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in IL this week against the audio company Bose.

"Defendants' conduct demonstrates a wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights", says the complaint. Furthermore, the lawsuit also wants the court to force Bose to cease in collecting and sharing of customers' data with other companies and destroy everything it has already recorded.

All in all, serious allegations, as no company wants to be seen as one that treads mud on customers' private data. However, if class-action status is reached, this will be spread out among buyers of all different Bose wireless headphones.

Bose's Connect app, which is offered as an optional app to users who buy the company's wireless products, such as the QuietComfort 35 headphones, enables users to set up and control various aspects of their listening experiences from their smartphones. It moves for an injunction against Bose to stop it from collecting data on its users, "actual and statutory damages arising from the invasion of their privacy", and the return of the purchase price of these wireless devices.

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