September 29, 2020

Volume X, Number 273

September 29, 2020

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September 28, 2020

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Privacy Policies Expose Companies to Law Suits: Bose Hit by a Class Action Law Suit

Bose has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of essentially spying on their wireless headphone customers by secretly collecting and transmitting the users’ private music and other audio selections to third parties without disclosure and user consent. 

The lawsuit alleges Bose violated the federal Wiretap Act, the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act based on Bose’s non-consensual data practices. In the lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Plaintiff Kyle Zak, who downloaded the Bose Connect app on his phone and is now seeking more than $5 million in damages, asserts that he did not realize that the app transmitted the names of every track he played to third parties including data mining companies.

This lawsuit emphasizes the need for companies to have in place transparent and user-friendly privacy policies where they clearly explain what data about or from their users they will collect, use, and disclose to third parties. The lawsuit also demonstrates that the collection, use, and disclosure of data should be proportional to the business needs for the data. 

Major privacy concerns for internet of things devices can arise, for example, if users’ listening habits reflect religious, political, health care, or other sensitive data that a user has not consented to share and the collection of which the user is not aware of. 

As new technologies and practices emerge, companies should continue to periodically verify that they are acting in accordance with their published privacy policies and notices, diligently assessing their data needs and giving users an opportunity to opt out of data collection that is not necessary for purposes of using the technology.

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in CaliforniaNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 131


About this Author

Jarno Varno, Privacy Attorney, Polsinelli Law FIrm

Jarno Vanto's strengths lie in his ability to intimately understand each client’s specific industry technology and his awareness of the complex international environment. His extensive international experience allows him to provide a differentiated perspective to clients on privacy, cyber security, intellectual property, and corporate matters. 

Amanda Katzenstein, Polsinelli, Media Technology Lawyer, Trademark Rights Attorney

Amanda Katzenstein uses her extensive media and technology experience to assist clients with resolving their legal challenges. She started her career in television news, serving as a reporter and producer for CLTV, Chicago’s 24-hour news network; as a reporter, editor, and photographer for both WYCC-TV and the Evanston Community Cable Channel; and working in production for a nationally syndicated TV talk show.

Additionally, Amanda’s experience includes dealing with the practical effects of trademark rights at a national advertising agency, analyzing music licenses at a well-known music TV station, helping to build the legal department at an online media company, and assisting with media transactions at the Federal Communication Commission.

Jean Marie R. Pechette, Polsinelli, Business Strategy Attorney, Life Sciences Industries lawyer

Jean Pechette is a creative yet practical thinker who partners with clients and fully engages in assisting them to achieve their matter-specific goals by first understanding their overall business strategies. Jean has over 20 years of experience in information technology, privacy and intellectual property law, with a focus on health care and life sciences industries, including serving as a division general counsel for a Fortune 50 company.  She brings to clients a unique perspective to help them navigate novel and complex technology-related problems.