Lawsuit Alleges Listeners Spied On By Bose Headphones

There are allegations that Bose Corp violates the privacy rights pf the listeners and user by selling the information without permission, a lawsuit charged and the company spies on its wireless headphone customers by using an app that tracks the music, podcasts and other audio they listen to.

An injunction to stop Bose’s “wholesale disregard” for the privacy of customers who download its free Bose Connect app from Apple Inc or Google Play stores to their smartphones has bene cought in the complaint filed on Tuesday by Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago.

“People should be uncomfortable with it,” Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, said in an interview. “People put headphones on their head because they think it’s private, but they can be giving out information they don’t want to share.”

On the proposed class action case, Bose did not respond on Wednesday to requests for comment by the media. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company has said annual sales top $3.5 billion.

Allegations against that they were trying to boost profit by quietly amassing customer information, and then selling it or using it to solicit more business are being made these days and Zak’s lawsuit was the latest to level such accusations against such corporate.

By downloading its app, and providing his name, email address and headphone serial number in the process, Zak said he took Bose’s suggestion to “get the most out of your headphones” after paying $350 for his QuietComfort 35 headphones.

Howveer, Bose sent “all available media information” from his smartphone to third parties such as Segment.io, whose website promises to collect customer data and “send it anywhere”, was learnt by the Illinois resident and he said that said he was surprised.

Citing as an example that a person who listens to Muslim prayers might “very likely” be a Muslim, the complaint said that audio choices offer “an incredible amount of insight” into customers’ personalities, behavior, politics and religious views.

“Defendants’ conduct demonstrates a wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights,” the complaint said.

Including QuietComfort 35, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, SoundLink Color II, SoundSport Wireless and SoundSport Pulse Wireless, Zak is seeking millions of dollars of damages for buyers of headphones and speakers.

The federal Wiretap Act and Illinois laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud are violated by the data collection and he said that he also wants to bring a halt to this activity.

While the privacy agreement says nothing about data collection, customers also do not see the Bose app’s user service and privacy agreements when signing up, Dore, a partner at Edelson PC, said.

Edelson specializes in suing technology companies over alleged privacy violations

(Adapted from CNBC)

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