from the obey-or-suffer dept
“A spokesperson for the home sound system maker told ZDNet that, “if a customer chooses not to acknowledge the privacy statement, the customer will not be able to update the software on their Sonos system, and over time the functionality of the product will decrease.”
“The customer can choose to acknowledge the policy, or can accept that over time their product may cease to function,” the spokesperson said.
In an e-mail to users, Sonos informed customers that they can “opt out of submitting certain types of personal information to the company; for instance, additional usage data such as performance and activity information.” But users won’t be able to opt out of data collection Sonos deems necessary to the system’s core functionality. The problem with that, as we’ve seen with companies like Microsoft, is that companies aren’t traditionally transparent about just what this “necessary” data entails, and tend to be overly generous when it comes to determining what personal data is “essential” in the first place.
In this case, the “functional data” Sonos won’t let you avoid collection of includes email addresses, IP addresses, Sonos account login information, device data, information about Wi-Fi antennas and other hardware information, room names, system error data, and more. Needless to say, privacy advocacy groups like the EFF and the Center for Democracy and Technology aren’t thrilled about users having to choose between their privacy rights or working hardware. Nor are they impressed by companies’ apparent inability to cordon off essential functionality from data collection and sales:
“Sonos is a perfect illustration of how effective privacy, when it comes to not just services but also physical objects, requires more than just ‘more transparency’ — it also requires choices and effective controls for users,” said Joe Jerome, a policy analyst at the Center for Democracy & Technology.