Bose faces lawsuit claiming headphone apps collects user data

KHOU 11's Doug Delony reports from the Watch Desk on some accusations against Bose's Connect mobile app

Bose faces a lawsuit filed in Illinois over claims an app for its headphones collects user information and shares it with third parties without permission.

The complaint filed in U.S. district court in Illinois alleges Bose collected information such as music and audio choices through its Connect mobile app, then shared that with other companies — including a data mining firm — without user consent.

"Though the data collected from its customers’ smartphones is undoubtedly valuable to the company, Defendant’s conduct demonstrates a wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights and violates numerous state and federal laws," reads an excerpt of the complaint.

Bose could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to the filing, plaintiff Kyle Zak purchased a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones for $350. He registered the product and downloaded Bose Connect, a companion app allowing users to manage noise cancellation settings, update headphones with the latest software, and other functions. The suit alleges that any time Zak opened the app, it was collecting information on music or other audio he played and sending it to third parties without his knowledge.

"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," reads the complaint, which accuses Bose of violating the Federal Wiretap Act.

Zak is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit. Along with financial damages, the suit calls for Bose to stop collecting and transmitting data on users without permission.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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