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    Bose headphones spy on listeners, lawsuit alleges

    May 22, 2017

    A recent legal complaint says Bose Corp. spies on its wireless headphone customers by using an app that tracks the music, podcasts, and other audio they listen to, and then sells the data without the customers’ consent, thus violating privacy rights.

    According to an article on TheGlobeAndMail.com, the April complaint, filed by Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago, seeks an injunction to stop Bose’s “wholesale disregard” for the privacy of its consumers who download the free Bose Connect app.

    “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.”

    According to the article, Bose did not respond to requests for comment on the proposed class action case.

    Zak said he bought an expensive pair of Bose headphones and later, at Bose’s suggestion, downloaded its app. He provided his name, e-mail address, and headphone serial number. But soon he was troubled to learn that Bose sent all available data from his smartphone to third parties, including Segment.io, which promises to collect customer data and “send it anywhere.”

    The complaint said that audio selections offer deep insight into a customer’s personality, behavior, politics, and religious views.

    In the class-action suit, Zak seeks millions of dollars in damages for purchasers of various Bose headphones and speakers. He also petitions for a halt to the data collection, which he said violates the federal Wiretap Act as well as Illinois laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud.

    The attorney Dore, a partner at Edelson PC, said consumers don’t see the Bose app’s user service and privacy agreements when signing up, and the privacy agreement says nothing about data collection.
    © 2017, ARMA International