Tech

Bose Headphones Are Spies, Lawsuit Claims

By Grace Anilado , Apr 20, 2017 04:40 AM EDT
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A class action lawsuit filed recently claims that Bose headphones are spying on users. Several models were cited in the case, including the highly-popular QuietComfort 35. (Photo : Bose/YouTube)

Bose is an audio technology company well-known for offering great sound quality through their products. Their wireless headphones, which can cost upwards to $350, are especially popular among consumers. When consumers buy a certain set of Bose headphones, they download the Bose Connect application. The company claims it adds more functions to the audio device. But a class action lawsuit claims they are using it to mine information and shared them with third parties.

In that case, the Boston-based company would have been violating the WireTap Act and a variety of other privacy laws. The main plaintiff, 35-year-old Karl Zak, bought Bose headphones in March. He registered his personal details and the wireless headphones' serial number with the company's website. After that, he downloaded the Bose Connect app in order to better control the noise cancellation in his device.

The Washington Post writes that together with the details given upon registration, the company through their Bose headphones, gained information they were not explicitly granted access to. This is a breach of privacy, as what users listen to can be very personal. It could point to their state of mind, political preferences, health conditions and more.

But the spying of Bose headphones does not end in culling information. After taking stock of users' listening data, the company sent what they gathered third party companies, including Segment.io. The San Francisco data mining firm writes on their website that they offer to collect customer data and send them anywhere.

According to Fortune, the class action lawsuit against the audio technology company is tagged to be worth $5 million. But the number could go up, as it does not include damages yet. The case cites the wireless QuietComfort 35 that has received rave reviews. Other models of Bose headphones named were two models from the SoundSport line, QuietControl 30 and two SoundLink line models.

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