Lawsuit: Bose Headphones Spying on Listeners

By Chris Yalom , The Goldwater · 04-20-2017

A lawsuit was charged against Bose Corp for spying on customers through its wireless headphone. By using an app that tracks the music, podcasts and other audio, they can listen and violate customer’s privacy rights by selling the information without permission.

Kyle Zak filed the complaint on Tuesday in federal court in Chicago to seek an injunction to stop Bose Corp "wholesale disregard" for the privacy of customers who download its free Bose Connect app from Apple Inc or Google Play stores to their Smartphone devices.

Zak’s lawyer, Christopher Dore said people should be uncomfortable with it, people uses the headphones because they think it's private, but they (Bose Corp) can be giving out information they don't want to share.

Bose has not responded from any comment on the proposed class action case. Bose Corp annual sales was said to top $3.5 billion.

Zak's lawsuit was the case against companies who are trying to boost their profit by quietly store customer information, and then selling it or using it to solicit more business opportunities.

Zak said after paying $350 for a QuietComfort 35 headphones, he downloaded a suggested Bose's app to "get the most out of your headphones", he provided his name, email address and headphone serial number in the process. Zak was surprised when he learned 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."

He added that the audio choices offer an incredible amount of insight into customers' personalities, behavior, politics and religious views, he even citied as an example that a person who listens to Muslim prayers might "very likely" be a Muslim. The defendants' conduct demonstrates a wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights based on his complaint.

Zak is seeking millions of dollars of damages for customers who bought the headphones and speakers, these models includes QuietComfort 35, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, SoundLink Color II, SoundSport Wireless and SoundSport Pulse Wireless.

He also wants a stop with 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 of Bose do not see any app's user service and privacy agreements upon signing up. The privacy agreement says nothing about data collection.

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