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posted by martyb on Thursday April 20, @07:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the listen-up dept.

The audio maker Bose, whose wireless headphones sell for up to $350, uses an app to collect the listening habits of its customers and provide that information to third parties—all without the knowledge and permission of the users, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago on Tuesday.

The complaint accuses Boston-based Bose of violating the WireTap Act and a variety of state privacy laws, adding that a person's audio history can include a window into a person'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," says the complaint, noting a person's audio history may contain files like LGBT podcasts or Muslim call-to-prayer recordings.

The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is a man named Kyle Zak, who claims he followed the company's suggestion to "get the most out of your headphones" by downloading the Bose Connect app, and supplying information such as his name, phone number and email address.

Zak is seeking to represent other headphone owners over allegations of illegal data mining. According to the complaint, Bose created detailed profiles of customers' listening histories and habits, and shared it with marketing companies, including a San Francisco firm called Segment whose website offers to "collect all or[sic] your customer customer data and send it anywhere."


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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @07:42PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @07:42PM (#497019)

    JIHAD IN HOLY NAME OF ALLAHALALALALALALAA!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @07:55PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @07:55PM (#497026)

      I always shuffle gay muslim music into my playlists to keep things interesting.

    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday April 20, @11:34PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @11:34PM (#497118)

      JIHAD IN HOLY NAME OF ALLAHALALALALALALAA!

      ...'Tis the season to be jolly,
      ALLAHALALALALALALAA!
      Don we now our suicide apparel,
      ALLAHALALALALALALAA!
      See the blazing infadels before us,
      ALLAHALALALALALALAA!

  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 20, @07:56PM (8 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 20, @07:56PM (#497027)

    "By powering on this phone, you do agree to being spied on, and your personal information compiled and resold, by any and all companies providing any software or script running on this phone for any purpose at any time, regardless of their source. Google/Apple reserves the unlimited right to prevent, enhance, or profit from some of the spying by third parties."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:11PM (#497037)

      OK Google sell my data and pay me my cut of the profits.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nerdfest on Thursday April 20, @08:14PM (6 children)

      by Nerdfest (80) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @08:14PM (#497041)

      Android is no different than Windows, or even Linux. You have *complete* control over what user software is installed. Companies do seem to consider it more "fair game" for snooping, but I think Windows 10 is going to push Windows apps that way as well.
      As always, check required permissions, read TOS/Licence agreements and either live with it, or don't use it. There are lost of great applications in FDroid.org that don't spy on you.
      In short, it ain't Android that's the problem.

      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday April 20, @11:37PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @11:37PM (#497120)

        Windows what, 10? I'd say that for 7 but certainly not 10.

      • (Score: 2) by Zyx Abacab on Thursday April 20, @11:41PM

        by Zyx Abacab (3701) on Thursday April 20, @11:41PM (#497124)

        Android is no different than Windows, or even Linux. You have *complete* control over what user software is installed.

        Yeah, right. Windows 10 truly respects your choice to not have Candy Crush, or any one of a dozen default Windows Store apps, installed—and re-installed. Or that you might, as an individual user, want to run `CALC.EXE` from a previous version of Windows. Or that you might like to continue using some browser other than Edge.

        I can honestly say I've never before encountered an OS that's so earnest in respecting user control over software.

        (Though I do agree with you—Android does a much better job than Windows. By comparison with either, though, Linux is some kind of utopia.)

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 21, @01:36AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21, @01:36AM (#497167) Journal

        Android has signed bootloader and various OS assisted software spying, plus the additional radiomodem backdoor - no complete control
        Windows is badly coded and has hidden backdoors - no complete control
        Linux has the source available for all things - complete control can be achieved

        As always hidden CPU management modes, BIOS code, I/O firmware, remote activated chips etc may all thwart even a computer whose OS source you have inspected and control.

        Distrust and verify through all levels is a better approach.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 21, @02:25AM (2 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21, @02:25AM (#497186) Journal

        "Android is no different than Windows, or even Linux."

        Technically, you are correct. In practice, you've missed something.

        The telcos aren't marketing Android. They aren't even marketing telephones. Instead, they are marketing their own telephones, with OS's and preinstalled application tailored to the telco's own requirements. And, the telco retains root on the device. The telcos make some effort to persuade customers that the phone won't work if the customer attempts to root the device.

        It takes some minimal degree of sophistication to understand what is happening, and it takes a little more sophistication than minimal to root your phone, and to install your own Android on it.

        The masses, or the proles, or the sheeple, don't have that sophistication. They see, "Oooh, SHINY!" and they are sold. They will dig no deeper. "Permissions? What is that? I understand Angry Birds, if it needs permissions, well, so be it!"

        Another way of stating the problem is, "There's a sucker born every minute." Attributed to P.T. Barnum, and/or to David Hannum.

        --
        This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 21, @12:17PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21, @12:17PM (#497364) Journal

          Any smart ideas on how to be badly affected by surrounding suckers that are born every minute?

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by SDRefugee on Friday April 21, @01:33PM

          by SDRefugee (4477) on Friday April 21, @01:33PM (#497383)

          Another way of stating the problem is, "There's a sucker born every minute." Attributed to P.T. Barnum, and/or to David Hannum.

          Its getting to the point where "There's a MILLION suckers born every minute.." Attributed to SDRefugee...

          --
          America should be proud of Edward Snowden, the hero, whether they know it or not..
  • (Score: 2) by nobu_the_bard on Thursday April 20, @07:59PM (2 children)

    by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Thursday April 20, @07:59PM (#497030)

    Typo seems to be in the original article, not the website? I couldn't find that precise phrase going back a month, though I didn't try super hard.

    The website https://segment.com/ [segment.com] has/had "Collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere. Stream data to every marketing integration your team needs." The current front page has "Capture data from every customer touch point. Send your customer data to the tools where it can be used most effectively." It's some kind of CRM automation thing I assume, based on that- article makes it sound like they're a firehose just spraying it everywhere.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:01PM (#497031)

      Penisectomy Jones

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:47PM (#497051)

      article makes it sound like they're a firehose just spraying it everywhere.

      Like a golden data shower?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:06PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:06PM (#497034)

    Oh no!

    Bose is telling everyone about my secret identity as a 17 year old girl trapped in the body of a 39 year old man?

    My life is over!

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:13PM (#497039)

      I swapped bodies with grandma and now grandpa wants to fuck me. Ew.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:29PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:29PM (#497045)

      If you use Bose, your life was already over, haven't you heard this one:

      No highs, no lows...
                            must be Bose.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:36PM (#497048)

        Since when do listeners of "teen pop" care about audio quality?

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:51PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:51PM (#497054)

      Oh no!
      Bose is telling everyone about my secret identity as a 17 year old girl trapped in the body of a 39 year old man?
      My life is over!

      No one cares about that ... but your mix tapes of Milli Vanilli, Neil Diamond and Stryper all doing Tom Jones and WASP covers is concerning to us all.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @08:55PM (#497058)

        My secret lover is 108

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 21, @02:02AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21, @02:02AM (#497174) Journal

        Listen to Assange to get on "the lists".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, @03:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, @03:12PM (#497437)

      "Don't you feel like you've got caught listening to your younger sister's playlist and secretly loving it?"

      --- Dj Cara / Nonstop Pop FM/ GTA V

  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Thursday April 20, @11:24PM (2 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @11:24PM (#497115) Journal

    Lawsuit Claims Bose Spies on its Users

    No, even Bose says their app spies on its users. The lawsuit claims quite rightly that said spying is a bad thing.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday April 21, @02:18AM (1 child)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21, @02:18AM (#497183) Homepage Journal

      The worst part is that the headphones are already goddamn expensive. Sheesh, how Jewish can industry get?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, @05:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, @05:18AM (#497246)

        Bose surname [wikipedia.org].

        Ethanol, are you trolling?? Basing it on general lack of education??

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Friday April 21, @01:46AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21, @01:46AM (#497169) Journal

    Another company caught with the fingers in the jar of privacy!

    You can't trust entities that you don't know personally, and perhaps not even then. Corporations and government etc are people you don't know and have other interests than you. Everyone with a brain ought to understand by now that you absolutely don't volunteer name, phone number or email in anything other than a need to know basis. But most of all..

    Set up your equipment so IT CAN'T leak your private data. And that is anything that can be used against you now or in the feature. Don't trust the law or self interest either. Entities are known to cut legal corners whenever it suits them and others don't necessarily act rationally.

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday April 21, @04:28AM (1 child)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Friday April 21, @04:28AM (#497230)

    Every app will take information, "just in case"
    They *usually* warn you, but even F-droid apps can collect data.
    Haw many 'ordinary' users have the slightest idea how to check, know what to check, know *why* to card, or just *care* in the first place?
    Most have sold themselves (instagram and snapchat nude selfies! Facebook over-share, with location data!) so often they don't understand why it is a problem.

    Then, on top, earbuds for music while driving - crimes against music quality and sense! (Argh, crash)

    --
    (Score: tau, Irrational)
    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 21, @12:20PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21, @12:20PM (#497367) Journal

      Before iDunno people had to sneak up to rob people. The modern robber just have to walk up and just take it..
      Let's not get started on traffic.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, @12:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, @12:05PM (#497353)

    Now only good old Einstein remained to make that exquisite condensate.

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