Bose accused of tracking customers' listening habits

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

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.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, Sharmishta's main priority is being TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor, looking after the day-to-day functioning of the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore editions of the site, steering everything from news and reviews to ecommerce content like deals and coupon codes. While she loves reviewing cameras and lenses when she can, she's also an avid reader and has become quite the expert on ereaders and E Ink writing tablets, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about these underrated devices. Other than her duties at TechRadar, she's also the Managing Editor of the Australian edition of Digital Camera World, and writes for Tom's Guide and T3.