Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit

Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit

While Bose customers can use the headphones without the smartphone app (simply connect using Bluetooth settings or the audio cable), the app provides more options to use the device-and opened the door for data collecting.

A class claims in federal court that headphone and speaker giant Bose Corporation has been spying on its customers' listening preferences through its mobile app Bose Connect.

A new lawsuit filed in the U.S. claims that the Boston-based company has violated the US's Federal WireTap Act and a number of other privacy laws by collecting data on users' music playlist, podcasts and other audio choices, which together "provide an incredible amount of insight into his or her personality, behavior, political views, and personal identity".

The lawsuit, which was filedin Chicago on Tuesday, states that the case is worth over $5 million, though doesn't specify damages.

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

Zak seeks an injunction to stop Bose from collecting any more data. Bose, whose wireless QuietComfort 35 headphones have received enthusiastic reviews, did not immediately reply to an email request for comment about the complaint.

Major disruption for commuters across UK as fire closes Euston station
A number of trains travelling between Warrington Bank Quay and London Euston have faced delays and cancellations this afternoon. Network Rail said services may not be back to normal until Thursday morning. "They will do this job overnight tonight".

Zak's lawsuit was the latest to accuse companies of trying to boost profit by quietly amassing customer information, and then selling it or using it to solicit more business.

"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 lawsuit said. "In fact, numerous scientific studies show that musical preferences reflect explicit characteristics such as age, personality, and values, and can likely even be used to identify people with autism spectrum conditions".

He also wants a halt to the data collection, which he said violates the federal Wiretap Act and IL laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud. For example, a person that listens to Muslim prayer services through his headphones or speakers is very likely a Muslim, a person that listens to the Ashamed, Confused, And In the Closet Podcast is very likely a homosexual in need of a support system, and a person that listens to The Body's HIV/AIDS Podcast is very likely an individual that has been diagnosed and is living with HIV or AIDS.

In his lawsuit, Zak said he purchased a set of Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones for $350 and then followed Bose's suggestion to download its app.

Zak is now seeking millions of dollars of damages for buyers of headphones and speakers and also wants to stop the data collection which he says violates the federal Wiretap Act and IL laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud. Dore said Bose is the first headphone company Edelson has found to collect such data.

Related Articles