Bose corporation, the American giant best known for its home audio systems and headphones, has been accused of spying on its customers wirelessly through its headphones and selling their private information without permission for monetary gains.
Chicago resident Kyle Zak claims Bose's app scoops up data which is then sold to firms use it to target adverts. Additionally, he wants there to be a freezing of data collection, which he said violates the federal Wiretap Act.
The data in question mostly concerns the music Bose customers listen to, the podcasts they subscribe to, etc: all the information that goes through the Bose Connect app.
Zak contends that he was unaware of Bose's practices prior to downloading the free app to his smartphone, only subsequently being made aware that Bose passed on "all available media information" to third parties at a later date. Among the recipients was a company called Segment.io, which brags in bold letters on its website that it will "collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere".
According to Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Mr Zak, the plaintiff will be seeking $5m (about £4m in these post-Brexit times) in damages.
Zak, who had bought QuietComfort 35 headphones for $350, says all wireless headphones by Bose are at the risk of this privacy invasion. This app, which is not necessary for standard use but gives users full functionality of the products' capabilities, ties users' listening data to their name, email address, and headphone serial number, the suit said. But, if you own a pair of pricey Bose wireless headphones, your secret may be out. Edelson specializes in privacy and technology cases.
Bose turned down repeated requests for a comment on the proposed class-action lawsuit.
If the allegations are true, the Bose case is just the latest privacy incident involving the so-called "Internet of things" in which more companies and devices that are connected to the web can't resist the temptation of harvesting the consumer data they throw off.
Edelson added, "What we hope to demonstrate through this suit is that multibillion-dollar companies are not allowed to grab whatever private data they want from their customers simply because they can make a buck off of doing so".