A lawsuit filed in Chicago on Tuesday (Apr. 18) claims that headphone maker Bose uses an app to collect data on the listening habits of its consumers and provides that information to third parties without the knowledge or permission of its users. According to Fortune, the complaint accuses the Boston-based company of violating the WireTap Act and a number of other state privacy laws, noting that scanning a person's audio history can potentially provide a snapshot of someone's life and views.
"Indeed, one’s personal audio selections – including music, radio broadcast, Podcast, and lecture choices – provide an incredible amount of insight into his or her personality, behavior, political views, and personal identity," reads the complaint, which also notes that a person's audio history may contain files like LGBT podcasts or Muslim call-to-prayer recordings.
The lead plaintiff is Kyle Zak, who says in the complaint that he took Bose's advice to "get the most out of your headphones" by downloading their Bose Connect app, giving the company information including his name, phone number and email address. Zak would like to represent other headphone owners in the suit over his allegations of illegal data mining, including his claims that Bose built detailed profiles of their listening histories and habits. He argues that Bose allegedly shared that information with marketing companies, including San Francisco's Segment, whose website offers to "collect all or your customer customer data and send it anywhere."