Bose Home Speaker
Review date: Nov. 8, 2021
Bose is known for it's pricey, premium headphones and speakers. With their smart home speaker line -- which includes everything from a portable smart speaker to a soundbar for your TV , to a blocky speaker with a LCD display -- users get all the expensive Bose sound with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Ask questions or make commands and an 8-microphone array will pick up your words. Tap that microphone button to turn off those snoopy speakers whenever you want some privacy. Group multiple speakers together to your music all synced up. And with Alexa (but not Google) you can make or take calls to anyone in your contact list or or Bose smart products or Amazon Echo products. Just know, you'll be sharing your some of your data with Amazon and Google when you ask your speaker all those weird questions.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
A few years back Bose came under fire when it was alleged they were secretly collecting personal information about users through the Bose app. Bose fought the class action lawsuit based on these allegations. And early in 2021, Bose made a good change when they stopped requiring users to create an account to use the Bose Music app that controls their headphones and speakers. Yay for progress!
Bose does say it may use or share de-identified personal data for any purpose they choose, without limitation. This use of anonymized data is generally OK, although many privacy researchers will point out it is relatively easy to de-anonymize such data. Also, if you choose to use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant with this smart speaker, know that Google and Amazon will collect data on the voice requests you make. What’s the worst that could happen with the fancy smart speaker? Well, hopefully not too much, we hope.
Tips to protect yourself
- If you use Alexa or Google Assistant, set up the respective privacy settings.
Can it snoop on me?
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Contact information, Location (if you wish to turn on some features e.g. enabling you to locate a lost or stolen device, providing access to local radio stations).
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
Bose suffered a ransomware attack in March 2021, it leaked employee and financial data, but no consumer-related data.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
You can connect the speaker to Alexa or Google Assistant, if you wish, for voice recognition.
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Bose no longer requires you to make an account just to use its appThe Verge
Bose Reveals Data Breach After Ransomware AttackSoftpedia News
Bose accused of spying on users, illegal wiretapping via Bose Connect appCSOnline
Judge tosses wiretapping charges from class action vs Bose over claims it used an app to eavesdrop on users' listening choicesCook County Record
Bose Added to List of High-Profile Companies Who Have Suffered Ransomware AttackArent Fox
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