As everything we buy gets a WiFi connection crammed into it, the stuff we own has become a spy on us. Sex toys snoop in our sex lives, refrigerators compromise our Gmail accounts, and now, we learn that headphones are allegedly collecting and sharing our personal data behind our backs. Namely, what we listen to.
Bose is being sued for $5 million over allegations its Bose Connect app, which is plugged as allowing you to get the most out of Bose’s headphones and wireless speakers, collects data on what you listen to without informing consumers. The app isn’t necessary to use Bose products, although it does offer features that you otherwise can’t access in your headphones like splitting a signal between two pairs of headphones.
It’s not clear how much validity there is to this complaint just yet. The lawsuit cites data sent to data analytics company Segment, but it doesn’t explain how this information was found, or how it was used. It’s also odd because, in theory, all Bose would have to do is disclose it was collecting the data and use standard device permissions in order to do so. Spotify, for example, has far more extensive demands on your phone than the Bose Connect app, and Spotify makes no secret of analyzing your listening history. So, for now, if you’re concerned, you might want to avoid using the app, but your headphones will work fine on their own.