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Your Bose headphones might also be spying on you

A man enjoying his QuietComfort 35 headphones, which a new lawsuit alleges can record your listening habits. (Photo: Bose)

If a recently proposed class-action lawsuit is to be believed, you can add several Bose headphones to the long list of electronics that are potentially spying on you. According to a Washington Post report, the suit’s plaintiff, Kyle Zak, claims a smartphone app, which the company markets as a way to manage settings and share your audio feed with other wireless users, is also recording information about the data getting transmitted from your mobile device to your headphones. The complaint reads:

Defendant programmed its Bose Connect app to 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 (collectively, “Media Information”).


And since users provide personal information to register the headphones through the app, it’s able to match that data to your name, address, and headphone serial number, creating a profile that, the suit alleges, Bose has shared with a data-mining company called Segment.io. According to the suit and the lawyers representing it, neither the collection nor the sharing of this data is mentioned in the app’s privacy policy and that puts it in violation of various state statutes in Illinois, where the complaint was filed earlier this week. As for how this guy found out about the potential breach of privacy, well, that’s something Zak’s lawyers wouldn’t tell the Washington Post. But considering the precedent set by the recent FTC penalty against Vizio for covertly recording info on its TVs, they have to be feeling pretty good about this one.

Here’s the complete list of Bose products included in the suit: QuietComfort 35, SoundSport Wireless, Sound Sport Pulse Wireless, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, and SoundLink Color II.

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