Cyber Security

Bose Denies its headphones Connect App Spied on Users

Bose has denied any such allegations and pointed out that the privacy policy in the Connect App states that it collects de-identified data for Bose’s use only and does not sell the data to any other companies, including advertising. Bose also stressed that the information on the app is only visible to Bose and only if the customer has the app open and running. ‘You’ll find that the Connect App collects standard things to make your experience, and our products, better — like device information, app performance, and app and product usage. That includes information about songs playing on the device, the volume they’re played at and other usage data,’ stated Bose on its website.

While privacy statements with all apps that one installs do state most of what the app does in the background, it is not enough and clear. The company was at the centre of focus for allegedly spying on its users’ conversations via their headphones. The claim by lawyers stated that Bose was secretly collecting information about what the users are listening to when they are using the Bose Bluetooth headphones. However, it seems that it’s not the headphones, but the installed app that was the culprit.

Kyle Zak from Illinois claimed that his Bose headphones were collecting information without his knowledge every time he used the Bose companion app Bose Connect on his smartphone. The app allows Bose’s customers to interact with the headphones update software and also manage the devices connected with it at the time. If the user is listening to something, the details of the same were shown up on the app. This information is collected by Bose and sent to third party companies, including Segment, who facilitate data collection from web and mobile apps for further analysis. This could force action against Bose for illegal wire tapping.

Bigger tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Google and a few others are also collecting similar data from users under an anonymous tag. While the data would be used for advertising purposes, it is mostly used for other services such as personalisation, and for various other analysis needs

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