Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Review date: Nov. 8, 2021
Shove these little buds in your ears and turn out the world around you. Both passive and active noise cancelling will keep the world at bay and the music you're listening to front and center. With four microphones built in, you can talk to your Mom, talk to Alexa, or even just talk to yourself. Connect to the app via Bluetooth and adjust all the sound and noise cancelling settings you want. Pop them in their little case to charge up for 6 hours of use. Just be careful not to lose the little guys, they aren't cheap!
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 these fancy headphones? Well, hopefully not too much, we hope.
Tips to protect yourself
- If you use Alexa or Google Assistant, set up the respective privacy settings.
- Consider using your headphones without connecting it to an app. This way, you may decrease amount of data collected
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 product, 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 headphones 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 accused of spying on users, illegal wiretapping via Bose Connect appCSOnline
Bose headphones have been spying on customers, lawsuit claimsWashington Post
A message to our Bose Connect App customersBose
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