GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT/CBS/CNET) – Is Bose spying on consumers? One of its customers thinks it is, and has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit to stop the practice.
Kyle Zak claims Bose uses its wireless headphones and companion Bose Connect app to violate the U.S. Wiretap Act by “secretly collecting, transmitting, and disclosing its customers’ private music and audio selections to third parties, including a data mining company.”
In his lawsuit, Zak claims that our musical preferences reveal a great deal about our personalities, political leanings and even sexual orientation. The complaint, filed Tuesday in federal court in Chicago, wants to stop Bose’s “wholesale disregard” for customers’ privacy, Reuters reported.
“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,” according to the lawsuit. “In fact, numerous scientific studies show that musical preferences reflect explicit characteristics such as age, personality, and values, and can likely even be used to identify people with autism spectrum conditions. And that’s just a small sampling of what can be learned from one’s music preferences.”
Zak said he has 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’s looking for millions in damages for buyers of Bose’s QuietComfort 35, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, SoundLink Color II, SoundSport Wireless and SoundSport Pulse Wireless.
Bose later tweeted out, “We understand the natural of Class Action lawsuits. And we’ll fight the inflammatory, misleading allegations against us through the legal system.”
Bose went on to say, “North is more important to us than your trust. We work tirelessly to earn and keep it, and have for over 50 years. That’s never changed, and never will. In the Bose Connect App, we don’t wiretap your communications, we don’t sell your information, and we don’t use anything we collect to identify you- or anyone else – by name.”
The case is Zak v Bose Corp, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 17-02928.