According to a lawsuit that was filed in Chicago, audio maker Bose offers wireless spy headphones that use an app to collect listening habits from customers and provide the data to third parties without the knowledge and permission of the customers. The complaint has accused Boston-based Bose of violating the Wire Tap Act including some state privacy laws.
On the other hand, Bose has insisted that it is not using the wireless headphones to keep tabs on the music and podcasts that their customers are listening to. Neither are they selling any information without the permission of their customers. Bose officials consider the lawsuit as inflammatory with misleading allegations made against the company through the legal system.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Bose is Kyle Zak who claims to have followed the company’s suggestion to get the most out the wireless spy headphones by downloading Bose Connect app. Zak further claims that he has to provide Bose with information that includes his name, phone number and email address.
According to the complaint the personal audio selection that includes music, radio broadcasts, podcasts and lecture choices can provide a great insight on the personality, behavior, personal identity and political views of an individual. An individual’s personal audio history could contain information like LGBT podcasts and Muslim-call-to-prayer recordings.
Zak wants to represent other owners of the wireless headphones who have been victims of alleged illegal data mining. Zak claims that Bose has created detailed profiles of their customer’s listening habits and histories and has shared the data acquired with other marketing companies. It was alleged that San Francisco-based Segment is one of the marketing companies that benefited from the collected data.
If the allegations are true, this can be considered as one of the incidents involving “Internet of Things” which many devices and companies are using to gather consumer data.
There are instances when the spy headphone is irreplaceable. For example, if you are a security guard, the tiny and invisible earpiece allows you to provide instructions to other guards while you are mingling with the crowd. You can keep a situation under control during the most challenging situations.