Bose accused of tracking customers' listening habits

Bose is watching you listen

Audio-gear manufacturer Bose has been accused of spying on users of its premium wireless headphones – including the very popular QuietComfort 35 – via the company’s Connect smartphone app.

A new lawsuit filed in the US claims that the Boston-based company has violated the US’s Federal WireTap Act and a number of other privacy laws by collecting data on users’ music playlist, podcasts and other audio choices, which together “provide an incredible amount of insight into his or her personality, behavior, political views, and personal identity”.

The data collection reportedly occurs once the user has paired their headphones with the Bose Connect app,  which is offered to customers as an option to manage the connected audio device and view settings, like adjusting noise-cancelation.

The claim alleges that every time a smartphone is opened after a Bose device has been paired with it, data is collected and stored, which can then be sold for use in market research by companies like Segment.io.

It also states that Bose did not inform the claimant, Kyle Zak, that it would be collecting and sharing said data.

When interviewed, a lawyer for Zak said, “People should be uncomfortable with it. People put headphones on their head because they think it’s private, but they can be giving out information they don’t want to share.”

The claim aims to get millions of dollars in damages from the audio giant for its customers, but the company has not yet responded to the accusation or made an official statement.