"Bose headphones spy on listeners says lawsuit"

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by segue, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. segue

    segue Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Bose headphones spy on listeners says lawsuit
    REUTERS/April 20,2017

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

    The complaint filed on Tuesday by Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago seeks 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.

    "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."

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

    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.

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

    But the Illinois resident said he was surprised to learn that 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."

    Audio choices offer "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 might "very likely" be a Muslim, the complaint said.

    "Defendants' conduct demonstrates a wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights," the complaint said.

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

    He also wants a halt to the data collection, which he said violates the federal Wiretap Act and Illinois laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud.

    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.

    Edelson specializes in suing technology companies over alleged privacy violations. The case is Zak v Bose Corp, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 17-02928.

    Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit
  2. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    London UK
    Very interesting. (I actually thought this must be an old April Fool joke when I first saw the title!)
  3. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    Bender Rodriguez and Runicen like this.
  4. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    You should assume the NSA has hacked them
  5. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    At this point, it seems less like hacking and more like the death of privacy.
    Dave, SandAndGlass, nm_west and 4 others like this.
  6. pathosdrama

    pathosdrama Forum Resident

    Firenze, Italy
    Bose headphones are so expensive (and IMHO overrated), now also this.
  7. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    You assume you ever had privacy.
  8. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    Might want to update the title to say Bose headphones. But yes, this sucks. I'm fairly certain you can find proof that it's illegal, but these companies have money, and money talks louder than the law. Much louder! In fact, I would say that money is compressed, brickwalled, and no-noised to the point of absurdity. If you look on the back of a 100-dollar bill, you can see in the corner, "Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk, NY". But that's beside the point. The point is that companies are obsessed with cataloging (not sure on spelling, this doesn't have the red lines but it looks wrong) every single person in the universe. I think that advertisements left the picture a long time ago, they're just competing to collect people. I'm sure they're looking for loopholes in the constitution to just come down and abduct us and stick is in drawers so they can have us instead of just our data. Sorry, I didn't get a lot of sleep and I can't escape the noxious smell of weed so I'm a little bit angry and delirious right now.
  9. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    What we once understood to be privacy is now marginalized.

    Without getting too deep into a discussion about semantics, the modern age of convenience has certainly assisted the powers-that-be in aggregating information.

    Now, headphones...
    Dave, dumangl and Runicen like this.
  10. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    I considered putting Bose in the title but A) nobody pays attention to Bose anything around here, and B) I'm guessing that Bose is just the tip of the iceberg with this.
  11. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Machine wrapped in butter.

    London, England
    To be fair (and it's not fair at all, and extremely dickish behaviour by Bose), but you can connect headphones without using the app.
    gillcup and eddiel like this.
  12. g.z.

    g.z. Forum Resident

    :agree: Truth.
  13. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    I don't understand how a pair of headphones have the capability of sending anything. In my world headphones receive signals, not transmit them. What is the supposed benefit to this tech I'm apparently oblivious to?
  14. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    How are all these folks living in "the future" with their wireless devices enjoying the soul-sucking sound of their personal data being scooped up? Hmm?

    Me? Living in the past? Never! I'll just be listening to my Edison Cylinders on my compound surrounded by a Faraday Cage and preventing the contamination of my precious bodily fluids!

    But seriously, this is a load of crap and I hope Bose gets taken to the cleaners. Convenience is one thing - leave personal data alone.
    ClarkFan and elaterium like this.
  15. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    The article explains that it's the Bose designed app that must be used with the headphones that it at issue. The headphones themselves are just a way into your life.
  16. Kevin55

    Kevin55 Forum Resident

    Not really "stealing your data". More like collecting data on your habits. Which, if done without your knowledge, is just as bad IMO.
  17. Good headphones like Audeze LCD-XC's will never ever steal your data. Crap Bose headphones might but then who in their right mind............
    kw21925 likes this.
  18. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Just assume that anything that utilizes an app that connects to the Internet is collecting information about you and sending it to someone. It ought not to be a surprise at this point. It isn't to make your life easier, it's to make other people money.
  19. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    I can't imagine too many folks on this forum using wireless headphones. It is insidious to collect this type of information without user consent. I hope Bose pays dearly.
    Runicen likes this.
  20. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    Yeah I read that, I'm just not getting why headphones would ever need an app.
  21. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    Scanning the article, it looks like the app is needed to pair your wireless headphones with your smartphone. To me, it seems like is required by design (it could be done without it but they chose to mandate it). Although I understand the convenience of wireless headphones, I prefer the simplicity of wired headphones (just plug them in and they work).
    Runicen likes this.
  22. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    London UK
    With all my data which has been stolen over the years, I wish I could get better recommendations on Amazon.
  23. tspit74

    tspit74 Forum Resident

    Woodridge, IL, USA
    I bought a pair of Puma shoes about 8 years ago and put them in the closet and forgot about them. A few weeks ago, I saw them in the closet and decided to switch things up and wear them that day just for a change of pace. The next day, my iPhone blew up with direct marketing ads and emails about deals from the Puma Outlet. Coincidence? Weird.

    Was it something I did? Did a camera somewhere see my shoes? Did my phone? A traffic light? My Fitbit? I never uttered the word "Puma" to anyone. Who knows? The Fitbit went in the drawer and the Pumas went back in the closet. I just know I'm creeped out and feel violated.
    Bobby Boogaloo and John Storey like this.
  24. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    London UK
    At least it shows someone cares though, right?
    ClarkFan likes this.
  25. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Eastern Iowa
    Steal your data right off your head

    ClarkFan and seaisletim like this.

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