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Did Bose Violate Consumer Rights by Collecting Listening Habits?

By some measures, Bose Corp’s wireless headphones are the apex of personal speaker technology. They block ambient noise while providing rich and robust sound that brings out the best in any music that a listener might select. One of Bose’s customers, however, believes that the company is using technology for more nefarious purposes, namely, collecting and selling information about user’s listening habits. A lawsuit that was recently filed in a Chicago federal court seeks an injunction against Bose to protect the consumer rights and privacy of individuals who do not want data on their listening habits to be sold to third parties.

This consumer rights and privacy lawsuit is one of many in a trend of legal actions against companies that allegedly collect and sell data about how their customers use their products without warning those customers about the data collection or giving them an opportunity to opt out of the program. Consumer usage data and related information are gold mine for marketing and advertising companies, but certain federal and state laws limit how and when that data can be collected, as well as what rights consumers have in removing themselves from any data collection programs. Mobile technology and the proliferation of smartphones has increased both the ease with which that data can be collected and the temptations to collect and use increasing amounts of that data. Consumers who value their privacy are pushing back against these efforts.

Although privacy is not a specific guarantee of the United States Constitution, a string of Supreme Court decisions that date back more than fifty years have long recognized that individuals have a right to privacy and an expectation that commercial interests will not violate that right. The attorneys at the Spencer Law Firm respect every consumer’s right to privacy and work hard to maintain that right in the face of corporations that aim to use personal information for their own financial benefit. If you believe that your consumer rights and your privacy have been violated by improper or unauthorized collection of your personal habits, please contact us for more information on how you can recover your own sense of privacy.