High-end audio company Bose was accused in a lawsuit of using its smartphone app to collect personal data on users, in what was described as a “wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights”.
According to the lawsuit, first reported by Fortune, the company’s Bose Connect app, which enables users to access and control features on its headphones, collects, transmits and discloses music and audio selections to third-parties, including “a data mining company”.
It was also noted because Bose recommends its customers register products, including serial numbers, alongside owner information, this could be linked with the audio information to identify user preferences.
The complaint said music choices “reflect explicit characteristics such as age, personality and values”, while other audio content such as podcasts mean “the personality, values, likes, dislikes and preferences of the listener are more self-evident”.
While Bose is far from the first company to have its privacy practices called into question, the case highlights the wide range of apps with the ability to collect data from users – including those which are otherwise innocuous and come from well-known brands.