Bose Sued for Violating Wiretapping, Eavesdropping, Intrusion of Privacy, Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices, and Unjust Enrichment

Sure, when reviewing the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 I downloaded the app to check it out. I thought the app was pretty useless...turns out the main purpose of the app was to check me out.

In a suit filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kyle Zak brings a class action complaint against Bose for "...secretly collecting, transmitting, and disclosing its customers’ private music and audio selections to third parties, including a data mining company."

Evidently, during the sign-up process for the app, the user discloses Bose product serial number; full name; email address; and phone number. The suit alleges the app then:

"...continuously record the contents of the electronic communications that users send to their Bose Wireless Products from their smartphones, including the names of the music and audio tracks they select to play along with the corresponding artist and album information, together with the Bose Wireless Product’s serial numbers."

"And by collecting the Bose Wireless Products’ serial numbers along with Media Information, Bose is able to link the Media Information to any individual that has registered or will register their products, thus enabling Bose to create detailed profiles about its users and their music listening histories and habits."

"(Bose) also intentionally designed and programmed its Bose Connect app to automatically disclose and transmit its customers' Media Information to third party companies, including a data miner called Segment.io, Inc."

"According to its home page, Segment.io is a sophisticated data mining and analysis company that can be used to "Collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere."

Well, I guess it's no surprise. God only knows how many of our gadgets are sending hints of our personal preferences and desires off to corporations to improve their bloodsucking efficiency. In this case I'll simply restate what I said about the app in my review:

There is also a smartphone app to go along with the QC35 (iOS and Android). It doesn't really do anything but allow you to manually switch Bluetooth pairing to other available devices. Not recommended.

To which I'll now add a link to this post.

C'mon Bose, don't give in to this crap. You make a great headphone, just keep working on that. From the QC30 page:

And with QuietControl 30 wireless headphones, we’ve added another breakthrough technology: controllable noise cancellation that lets you choose how much of the world you want to let in.

So, how about you also give us control over how much us we want to let out to the world?

COMMENTS
wiinippongamer's picture

Just about every media player "app" does this, to varying scale.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Sad...Industry needs to treat humans more humanely.

Good luck with that, I suppose.

Cats_Paw's picture

Well, a class action lawsuit is the answer to that.
If Industry treat humans like crap, Humans will crap on the industry.

There is a very old saying in sales (so old no one even uses it): You never sell something to your customer unless you know they will come back to buy again.

Class action is a way to explain to Bose (the company, not the employees) their mistake in a way they will understand: Money.

Its not a perfect system, but it tends to work if done properly.

Impulse's picture

Maybe streaming apps do, and shady apps, but there's definitely reputable apps for local playback that don't needlessly phone home.

Bansaku's picture

True, but those apps all have EULA or fine print on their websites; What Bose did is outright deception!

halcyon's picture

... just because everybody is doing it, doesn't make it right.
Besides, what were they thinking of doing with this data? Sounds all too silly to me.

Journeyman's picture

The lawsuit will probably ensure other headphone companies don't have this practice in a near future.

tony's picture

Congress & POTUS have just sold us out to the Corporations.

All my phones have advert blocks on them yet I still get marketing calls. ( illegal marketing calls )

We're becoming "Commodities" being bought and sold ( like Soy Futures ).

Russia hacking our elections with our Corporations now hacking us!

I'm worried that we're only seeing the "Tip of the Iceberg".

"Truth in Advertising" & "Consumer Protection" seem like ancient history.

I should've done more for the Bernie Sanders Campaign.

Tony in Michigan

Karalhoin's picture

You can lie to everyone, but your Bose know you like Justin Bieber. A lot.

germay0653's picture

Affect and predict your purchasing for the purpose making (more) money instead of predicting crime. Yes, it's already happening.

julian67's picture

I used to worry that I was a paranoiac. Then Snowden's revelations assured me that, in fact, I'm not a paranoiac but a justifiably sceptical but powerless victim with no means of redress. Shortly afterwards I thought wtf, sighed deeply, acknowledged my minion status, and bought my first smartphone. It has proven to be very useful for navigation, communication, audio and video streaming, and, most of all, for training me to avoid expressing or discovering disconsonant opinions. Thank you Big Brother for curing me!

IgAK's picture

Used to be that Bose, to audiophiles, was just a joke not even needing a punchline for a laugh.

So they come up with a decent can...so they can saddle us with *this*. No longer so funny.

The only slivered lining (not a misspelling) is that for a change, they are getting sued instead of doing all the suing of anyone and everyone as they've also been famous for. Won't even be fair turnabout until they get hit with quite a few more. Go to it, folks!

monetschemist's picture

One reason to prefer open source is to avoid nonsense like this. Please note I'm not making a claim that there is an open source Bose app, nor that open source is a panacea; but for those concerned about giving up information to others, it's an option worth considering.

zobel's picture

I don't have a smart phone or a media player or use apps. I don't own Bose or Apple products. I avoid that nasty industry, but still have as good a sound as possible...better, actually, than that crap.

Call me old school, but I simply refuse to do business with crooks.
It is up to consumers to make the right choices, as it is the electorate, but it is obvious how lazy and misinformed people are.

You are 100% right Tony & lgAk...I wish the was a like button here.

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