Class Action Suit Claims Bose Headphones Spy on Customers

Jul 2, 2017 - Class action by

Headphones, laptop computer, mobile phone and cup of coffeeA class action lawsuit claiming that Bose wireless headphones spy on its users and sell customer information without permission has been filed in Illinois.

According to the complaint, the primary plaintiff claims that he purchased a pair of $350 Bose wireless headphones in March 2017. He registered the headphones with Bose, providing his name and email address as well as the serial number of the headphones. He alleges that the company instructed him to download the Bose Connect app, saying that it would make the headphones more useful by adding functionality.

However, according to the plaintiff, the app allowed Bose to collect information on the plaintiff’s listening habits without his permission. The information collected included the names of audio files listened to by the plaintiff, information that was not covered in the Bose privacy policy.

Wireless headphones are growing in popularity and allow users to connect to the Internet and receive electronic communications from users’ smartphones. Companies that make smart devices like wireless headphones also have access to this information. Other manufacturers of smart devices have faced criticism for sharing and selling customer information without consent. Smart TV manufacturer Vizio recently settled a complaint with the Federal Trade commission that alleged the company had shared customer viewing data with other companies without user permission.

The complaint alleges that the information shared with Bose via identification of audio files could contain personal and sensitive identifying information, including if users are regularly listening to podcasts that could indicate their political preferences, health conditions or other interests.

The suit claims that Bose was not only collecting the information, it was also sharing it with a data mining company without customer consent or knowledge.

The Bose products listed in the complaint include the QuietComfort 35, SoundSport Wireless, Sound Sport Pulse Wireless, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, and SoundLink Color II.

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