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Popular headphones spy on their users, reveals lawsuit

Popular headphones Bose use an app to collect the listening habits of its users and then provide the information to third parties, all without the permission and even knowledge of the customers, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago.

Fortune reports that Bose was accused of violating the WireTap Act and several other privacy laws in Boston. The complaint added that a person’s audio history can include a window into their personal life.

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is a man named Kyle Zak, who claims he followed the company’s suggestion to “get the most out of your headphones” by downloading the Bose Connect app, and supplying information such as his name, phone number and email address.


Bose created profiles for their customers with their listening histories and habits, then shared it with marketing companies. The plaintiff say the app opened the door for data collecting and data mining.

The lawsuit says the case is worth more than $5 million but doesn’t specify damages.

According to Jay Edelson, the privacy lawyer who filed the Bose lawsuit, companies should not be able to help themselves to consumer data just because they can.

“Companies need to be transparent about the data they take and what they are doing with it, and get consent from their customers before monetizing their personal information,” said Edelson.

Alexa Stewart