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Bose headphones spy on listeners - lawsuit

Bose headphones spy on listeners - lawsuit

The headphones utilize an app called Bose Connect, which allows the user to change tracks and volume.

Bose, the renowned audio maker, is accused of spying on its customers by harvesting their personal information and giving it to third parties without proper consent of the users.

Kyle Zak, a Bose customer who had used the company's QuietComfort 35 headphones, filed this suit after finding out the smartphone app he downloaded for use with them was sending his data to third parties.

The complaint filed in US district court in IL alleges Bose collected information such as music and audio choices through its Connect mobile app, then shared that with other companies - including a data mining firm - without user consent.

Speaking with Reuters about the case, lawyer Christopher Dore said that "people should be uncomfortable" with this.

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. This requires you to input information like your name, e-mail address, phone number, and the serial number of the Bose product in order to prove that you own the product. Because of this, he did not learn that the app hands out user information until after he had been using it, the plaintiff says. "These are things that people like to keep private, and the allegation of our suit is that if Bose was going to be collecting that, they had to get consent".

The complaint doesn't specify damages, but says the "amount in the controversy exceeds" $5 million.

Dore, a partner at Edelson PC, said customers do not see the Bose app's user service and privacy agreements when signing up, and the privacy agreement says nothing about data collection. He said this is a violation of the US WireTap Act, as well as local IL laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud.

Headphone and speaker manufacturer Bose has been implicated in a lawsuit that accuses the manufacturer of spying on its customers via the company's Bose Connect app. The complaint gives the example of a user who listens to Muslim prayers as someone who would be identified as "very likely" to be of that faith. Among these companies was Segment.io, a business that will collect all of your customer data and "send it anywhere", according to its website.

Zak seeks an injunction to stop Bose from collecting any more data.

- We have reached out to Bose for a comment and will update this story when we receive the company's response to this litigation.

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