Bose Hit With Class Suit for Sharing User Music Choices

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By Jimmy H. Koo

Global audio equipment maker Bose Corp. has been hit with a class action complaint alleging it secretly collected and shared customers’ listening histories with third parties ( Zak v. Bose Corp. , N.D. Ill., No. 1:17-cv-02928, class complaint filed 4/18/17 ).

“Consumers went to buy headphones and were transformed into profit centers for data miners,” Jay Edelson, plaintiff’s counsel and founder of the law firm Edelson PC, said in an April 19 statement. “Companies need to be transparent about the data they take and what they are doing with it, and get consent from their customers before monetizing their personal information,” Edelson said.

According to the April 18 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, plaintiff Kyle Zak purchased a pair of Bose wireless headphones and downloaded a companion application—Bose Connect—that made “connecting and switching between devices easier than ever,” according to Bose’s advertisement for the app. However, Bose failed to notify customers that the app collects, transmits and discloses customers’ private audio and music selections to third parties, including data mining companies, the class complaint said.

The complaint asserts Federal Wiretap Act and Illinois eavesdropping statute claims. It asks the court to order Bose to stop collecting and sharing user data and award unspecified monetary damages.

Bose didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg BNA’s email request for comment on the complaint.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at jkoo@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

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