Science

Spying through headphones: Bose Corporation sued for millions

20 Apr 2017 | By Anupama Vijayakumar
Privacy rights violation: Bose corporation accused of spying

Renowned audio company Bose Corporation has been accused of handing over its users listening history to third parties without informing them, violating their privacy rights.

A complaint filed at the Chicago Federal Court noted the company's "wholesale disregard for the privacy of customers who downloaded the app".

The proposed class action suit demands millions of dollars as damages for buyers of its headphones.

In context: Privacy rights violation: Bose corporation accused of spying

20 Apr 2017Spying through headphones: Bose Corporation sued for millions

AllegationsWhat has the company been accused of?

Kyle Zak, the complainant notes that Bose handed over user information retrieved from the Bose Connect app to third parties including Segment.io, which allow customers to track data and send it anywhere.

Privacy rights violation has also been alleged, as according to the complaint, listener's choice of audio offers, "incredible amount of insight into the customer's personality....political and religious views".

Headphones and private information

Chris Dore, lawyer representing Zak in the case notes, "People should be uncomfortable with it. 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".
What does the lawsuit ask for?

DetailsWhat does the lawsuit ask for?

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the corporation disregard of its user's privacy rights. It seeks to put an end to data collection which violates state of Illinois' laws against eavesdropping as well as the Federal Wiretap Act.

Damages worth millions of dollars are being sought for consumers of Bose's headphones and speakers including QuietComfort 35, SoundSport Wireless and SoundLink Color II.

Other lawsuits on data mining

Number of lawsuits related to data mining have increased as more and more companies gain increased access to sensitive personal data. The Mississippi Attorney General in May had sued Google for its unclear policies on collection of personal information and student's search histories.