Bose headphones secretly collect users' details through app, claims lawsuit

Bose headphones secretly collect users' details through app, claims lawsuit
Headphones, or data transmission devices?
PHOTO: Reuters

Turns out headphones might be as good at picking up information as they are at sending music into your earholes.

An Illinois man filed a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday that claims his Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless Bluetooth headphones - in conjunction with the corresponding Bose Connect app - collected the songs and other tracks he listened to and matched that information to an identification number linked to him. Bose then allegedly sent that information to a data miner known as Segment.io, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that other types of Bose headphones transmit the same data, and that this constitutes wiretapping.

United States law defines a wiretapper as a person who "intentionally intercepts, endeavours to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavour to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication."

So, assuming Bose does send out information about what a person listens to, lawyers for plaintiff Kyle Zak will have to equate that data with something that constitutes a wire or electronic communication. The lawsuit offers a hint at how they plan to make that connection.

"To collect customers' media Information, defendant designed and programmed Bose Connect to continuously and contemporaneously intercept the content of electronic communications that customers send to their Bose wireless products from their smartphones, such as operational instructions regarding the skipping and rewinding audio tracks and their corresponding titles," the lawsuit reads. "

In other words, when a user interacted with Bose Connect to change their audio track, defendant intercepted the content of those electronic communications."

Read the full article here.


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