Your Bose Headphones May Be Spying on You
The Bose Connect app collects user listening habits and sells the data to third parties, lawsuit claims
Published Apr 20, 2017A lawsuit filed in Chicago on Tuesday (April 18) alleges that Bose has been using an app to collect user listening habits and sell the data to third parties, entirely without the user's knowledge.
As Fortune reports, lead plaintiff Kyle Zak alleges that the company's data mining, done through its wireless pairing app Bose Connect, violates the Wiretap Act and a number of American state privacy laws. The app allows the company's wireless headsets, including the Bose QuietComfort 35, to be paired with audio devices.
Zak's complaint says that Bose created profiles of user listening habits and histories and then shared them with marketing companies, including San Francisco firm Segment whose website offers to "collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere."
"Indeed, 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 complaint reads, while also noting that a person's audio history could include LGBT podcasts or Muslim call-to-prayer recordings.
Zak's lawsuit says the case is worth more than $5 million USD, though damages were not specified. Zak is also seeking an injunction to prevent Bose from continuing to collect user data.
Bose did not reply to Fortune's request for comment.