back to article Sonos will deny updates to those who snub rewritten privacy terms

Sonos, the maker of networked speakers, plans to revise its privacy policy next week, and customers who decline to accept the changes will no longer be able to download future software updates. Craig Shelburne, chief legal officer for the company, shared Sonos' plan in a blog post on Tuesday, characterizing the change as an …

  1. Kernel

    Farewell Sonos

    Never owned a Sonos system, guess I never will now.

    1. as2003

      Re: Farewell Sonos

      I was strongly considering taking the plunge last year. I'm very glad I didn't.

      > It's not like if you don't accept it, we'd be shutting down your device

      They say that, but I can guarantee you that in a year or so, their app will start saying something like "outdated firmware detected, please update your Sonos."

    2. Andrew Commons

      Re: Farewell Sonos

      If you did own a Sonos I wonder if changing the T&Cs to something you no longer agree with provides a case for you to return the goods for a full refund?

      You would not have acquired the goods in the first place with the revised T&Cs.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Farewell Sonos

        If you did own a Sonos I wonder if changing the T&Cs to something you no longer agree with provides a case for you to return the goods for a full refund?

        Almost certainly. My guess is that they're reckoning that most people will simply agree. And, unless someone does a test case, then I suspect they'll be proved right.

        Never really understood the fuss about networked speakers: Bluetooth has always been sufficient for me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Farewell Sonos

          Never really understood the fuss about networked speakers: Bluetooth has always been sufficient for me.

          If you ever have to wire for sound a largish room in a reinforced-concrete building, where you have nothing but the network and power provisioned, I guarantee that you will.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Farewell Sonos

            If you ever have to wire for sound a largish room in a reinforced-concrete building…

            I haven't, but neither do I consider that to be the typical use case for Sonos kit, which is targeted squarely at affluent consumers.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Farewell Sonos

              I haven't, but neither do I consider that to be the typical use case for Sonos kit, which is targeted squarely at affluent consumers.

              Ah, but in continental Europe reinforced concrete is the standard material for residential construction, including single-family housing. So it is very much relevant for affluent consumers - but perhaps not where you live.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon

                Re: Farewell Sonos

                ""It's not like if you don't accept it, we'd be shutting down your device or intentionally bricking it.""

                Lying turds. When I first bought a Sonos speaker I also bought an iPod touch as the controller for it. At some point iOS updates became so large that you couldn't install them on that particular generation device. Pretty much everything still works on that touch though, except the Sonos app. They updated the app so that it would no longer run without ios 7+ or something, and since my device can't run that it can no longer control the speakers - even though the app on ios 6 worked just fine for me.

                There's no way to reverse the patch, so they basically made my system inoperable overnight unless I buy another device to control it. (Yes I know it can be done from a PC etc. but that isn't the point, it also isn't convenient).

                1. Zolko Silver badge

                  Re: Farewell Sonos

                  "It's not like if you don't accept it, we'd be shutting down your device or intentionally bricking it."

                  Sir Runcible Spoon : "Lying turds. "

                  same here: if you don't update the software at their notice, the system will still function but with reduced functionality, like, for example, you can't re-scan your music library, meaning you can't listen to new music.

              2. LDS Silver badge

                "in continental Europe reinforced concrete is the standard material for residential construction"

                Unless you live in a bunker, reinforced concrete is usually used only for the load-bearing elements, i.e. pillars and some walls (although it can also be used to obtain some round surfaces). Most of the rest is usually made with bricks and other materials, which are lighter and also offer better insulation characteristics.

              3. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Farewell Sonos

                Well, in Spain you could be living in a flat made from reinforced concrete and get interference from 20 APs, in Scandinavia you could be living in a wooden house and get no interference from neighbours at all. You can't really generalise about "continental Europe".

              4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Farewell Sonos

                "Ah, but in continental Europe reinforced concrete is the standard material for residential construction, including single-family housing."

                There are options for those situations. Been around for years.

              5. Weiss_von_Nichts

                Re: Farewell Sonos

                Reinforced concrete in single housing? Where in Europe might that be - North Betonia? Slabs and cellar walls granted, but certainly not walls. Even in reinforced concrete skeleton buildings the interior walls would be made from practically anything but concrete. Same goes for bearing walls in single or multiple residential, as concrete would never meet low-energy standards, leave alone provide reasonable room climate.

      2. djack

        Re: Farewell Sonos

        If you did own a Sonos I wonder if changing the T&Cs to something you no longer agree with provides a case for you to return the goods for a full refund?

        I don't believe that anyone managed it when Sony released a firmware update that removed functionality from the PS3.

        IIRC, they used a similar sort of language as Sonos in that if you wanted to keep the OtherOS function, you simply didn't have to install the (unremovable) update. Though in reality if you wanted to play any games released after that, you had to install the 'optional' update.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Farewell Sonos

      I do own a Sonos sound system, and it so far I was quite happy with it: it does what it says it would, does not cause too much hassle, the sound quality is acceptable if not outstanding, and it looks OK.

      I guess when my current setup dies, I will just have to replace it with somebody else's gear. Hopefully, by the time I need the replacement, there will still be some manufacturers left who do not insert the same T&Cs for their products, too.

  2. whoseyourdaddy

    You don't want anyone to find out who paid money for a "Nickleback" song?

    I don't understand the concern...

    "You can't read, watch, or listen on unapproved devices."

    ITYM Hacked devices to watch without paying?

    "You can't modify or repair the devices you use."

    You'll fuck it up anyway then try to sell it to someone else.

    1. Dabooka

      Do you want to have another go at that?

      Try writing in a style that actually makes sense to the reader.

  3. FozzyBear
    Mushroom

    Dear Sonos,

    Due to your forced changes in policy to receive updates. I must inform you that the new data collection policy should be wadded up, wrapped in barbed wire and then repeatedly inserted as a suppository.

    Yours Sincerely,

  4. Alistair Mann

    "You can't resell a product you don't own."

    UsedSoft vs Oracle discovered otherwise.

  5. dan1980

    "The most immediate consequence of nonownership is the long list of substantive rights we lose," they wrote. "The prohibitions found in most EULAs and enforced by most DRM contrast starkly with the default rules of private property. You can't resell a product you don't own. You can't lend it, give it away, or donate it. You can't read, watch, or listen on unapproved devices. You can't modify or repair the devices you use."

    But, of course, obtaining a copy of such 'digital goods' without paying is entirely analogous to stealing a (limited) physical item.

    (Not specific here to Sonos as they sell physical items.)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      But, of course, obtaining a copy of such 'digital goods' without paying is entirely analogous to stealing a (limited) physical item.

      Also, DRM means obtaining a copy of such physical goods buy paying is also stealing a physical item... Steam DVDs, where you register the key, the DVD contents get copied to the hard drive, and from now on it's just as if you bought it through Steam (account can get banned, game can get pulled, etc...).

      Nobody else can use that physical DVD either as the key is now registered to your account. So the only way you can sell it on is if you made a new Steam account for each DVD so you can give the buyer the account details when you sell the disc.

      It must go against the ECJ judgement from five years ago.

  6. JimboSmith Silver badge

    Couldn't see the point of getting a Sonos. I have a bluetooth adapter box attached to the hifi separates in my 19"racking in my living room. The bluetooth adapter appears to do everything that the Sonos does and works with my feature phone no app required. Then I discovered the app wanted my location - Why???

    The adapter was this one this one which looks suspiciously like the more expensive logitech version https://www.amazon.co.uk/Logitech-Bluetooth-Receiver-Audio-Adapter/dp/B00IJYG4FY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1503446099&sr=8-3&keywords=bluetooth+audio+adaptor

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "Couldn't see the point of getting a Sonos. "

      In a word "convenience"

      Having (in theory) a "plug n play" device to do this is meant to be sooo much simpler than doing what you just did.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: "Couldn't see the point of getting a Sonos. "

        Sonos has a very clever way of connecting its network. Means you can still use in a very large house without mucking about with loads of WiFi repeaters. That said, probably less useful now that we 'need' WiFi everywhere at home.

        * I have a friend with a very large house and a Sonos. Sadly, my house has no problem getting WiFi everywhere.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Couldn't see the point of getting a Sonos. "

          And I have no issue getting the sound from my system around the house....the neighbors may not like it if I do though.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Couldn't see the point of getting a Sonos. "

        Having (in theory) a "plug n play" device to do this is meant to be sooo much simple

        "Meant to be" is the critical bit here. Until the vendor's updates render it increasingly tricky.

      3. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: "Couldn't see the point of getting a Sonos. "

        I do get the idea of convenience and the fact that it's one box only etc. Indeed I also own a portable bluetooth speaker for use elsewhere. It took me all of two minutes to hook the bluetooth adapter up to the amp in the living room and then connect to it. I just didn't see the point for me - when I already have the hifi set up in the living room - of getting a Sonos as opposed to a bluetooth adapter. Cost was another factor. Since posting that my housemate announced that he has a Sonos speaker coming and wants to add it to the living room tech. Nothing wrong with that but it still won't work with my feature phone which holds a good deal of my music. That only does bluetooth and works beautifully with the battery lasting more than the smartphones. I've got a smart phone or two but I still use the feature phone for playing music.

    2. Dabooka

      Well here's one point you may have missed

      'I have a bluetooth adapter box attached to the hifi separates in my 19"racking in my living room.'

      vs

      'I have a speaker in my living room'

      Look, I too have amps and wired speakers but I still get the use case of a Sonos. I was / am intending to buy something Sonos like for some rooms, where at the minute I use a small-but-competent Bose Bluetooth thing. Having a decent speaker in the dining room and conservatory sounds appealing.

      Sometimes a huge setup, speakers and cable are exactly what isn't needed

    3. Blitheringeejit
      Boffin

      "Couldn't see the point of getting a Sonos. "

      In two words, sound quality. Not that I bought into the whole enchilada, but I heard a PLAY1 at a mate's house and was most impressed by the noise it made, so I bought one. It does indeed make a nice noise, and is the best portable speaker I've tried (not that I've tried spending over £250).

      But it doesn't get iPlayer, it doesn't bluetooth, and it doesn't have a line in - so the use-case was getting flaky even before this, which is the final straw. So after it's gathered dust for a while, I'll have it to bits, find the bit where the audio goes into the power/speaker stage, and hotwire a bluetooth audio receiver in there instead.

      The point being that the article is right about ownership - I own the hardware so I can fuck with it if I want, and I don't own the app or the data it wants to slurp, so I choose not to use it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see the stick... where's the carrot?

    Sonos has a decent product, but it's not like people can't go elsewhere.

    This smells like desperation on Sonos part. Have they become another company that can survive without selling their customers data?

    No one really NEEDS Sonos. I predict they'll go out of business in 2 years. Rich people are the main buyers of Sonos devices. I'm thinking they won't respond well to threats...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not bad

      I predict no impact on their business whatsoever with 90% plus of users clicking accept without bothering to read the agreement.

      Perhaps some moaning from people who don't own and never intended to own one of their products.

      Not exactly the road to bankruptcy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not bad

        I don't like that you're probably correct...but you're probably correct :(

      2. Jez Burns

        Re: Not bad

        Given that profit margins in this kind of tech are likely already down to the wire (mostly with cash invested in marketing), a loss of 10% or even 5% of a customer base could have a huge impact on a company.

  8. inmypjs Silver badge

    Never understood how...

    Sonos was able to match apple in the having fanbois who will pay ridiculous prices game. Guess it is the next generation of audiophools who want tech and are prepared to pay lots of money for something they can't hear.

    Being fanbois they won't care about the privacy intrusion.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Never understood how...

      "Sonos was able to match apple in the having fanbois who will pay ridiculous prices game. "

      Audiophiles pre-date Apple fanbois.

  9. Richocet

    Choose whether hackers get your data or the vendors

    The majority of hardware and software has security flaws that need patching from time to time.

    Security flaws are the responsibility of the supplier because they control the quality and testing of the product.

    Customers accept new terms and conditions under duress because they can't access the security fixes unless they agree. Often this choice becomes give your data to the business or risk having it stolen by hackers.

    A fairer approach would be for security patches and updates to be provided with no strings attached, and all other updates could be tied to new T&Cs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Choose whether hackers get your data or the vendors

      The hackers. At least they don't pretend to say it's for my own good.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Choose whether hackers get your data or the vendors

      "The majority of hardware and software has security flaws that need patching from time to time."

      Mark one piece of wire seems to connect speakers without needing software updates.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Choose whether hackers get your data or the vendors

        "Mark one piece of wire seems to connect speakers without needing software updates."

        What about upgrading to mark 2.0 oxygen-free copper with gold plated connectors?

        1. Chemical Bob
          FAIL

          Re: What about upgrading to mark 2.0 oxygen-free copper with gold plated connectors?

          Dumbass! You'll suffocate without oxygen!

          1. Music Flow fanboy

            Re: What about upgrading to mark 2.0 oxygen-free copper with gold plated connectors?

            Only if he is made of copper and has gold plated connectors.

  10. Haku

    "You can't modify or repair the devices you use."

    There's a worrying trend in technology where the manufacturer/creator is doing its level best to stop you actually owning the product you paid them for.

    Case in point is the gaming industry where there's an increase in high priced games that contain no physical copy inside the box, just a download code, so you can't sell it on when you've completed it / got bored of it.

    Companies like CEX must also be a little worried about this.

    1. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: "You can't modify or repair the devices you use."

      Its cute that you think the market will bring back screws just for you.

      Greatly reduces the chance I'll get held at gunpoint for having a screen that isn't broken.

      There are other reasons. But, that's the main one I care about.

      Downvote if you own a mall kiosk..

      or are a closet klutz that can't have anything nice.

      1. annodomini2

        Re: "You can't modify or repair the devices you use."

        Someone is off their meds

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "You can't modify or repair the devices you use."

          You need to praise Apple and he will be OK again...

  11. Jase Prasad

    So long Sonos. Chapter 11 awaits you

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Who's driving this?

    They want to sell your data?

    Amazon want to get their hands on it and are forcing them ?

    Spotify?

    Here's the thing.

    It's not cheap X Probably made in China --> Big margin.

    So is it they aren't making a profit or that they're not making a big enough profit? BTW this is IOT so I think security upgrades should be on the company anyway.

  13. Timmy B

    Nobody actually read what they said in the blog post...

    That much is clear from the vast majority of posts here. "They are going so sell mah informationz" when they specifically say they wont and never will. I don't know how much we can trust that but the "never will" part gives me hope. They seem to be being very honest and upfront and that is what people moan about companies like MS not doing. Perhaps the issue is they don't want to spend time altering their software to cater for someone who opts out of this bit and not that bit because it's just easier (I know a few ifs isn't difficult). I just find the level of paranoia on here astounding sometimes.

    1. Detective Emil
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nobody actually read what they said in the blog post...

      +1 (or modern equivalent).

      Having a European level of suspicion about such things, I did actually read through the whole policy (while listening to Farming Today on a Sonos …), and it seems pretty reasonable as these things go. So I duly ticked the box.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Nobody actually read what they said in the blog post...

      I don't know how much we can trust that but the "never will" part gives me hope.

      It makes you hope that the management and ownership will never change?

      1. Timmy B

        Re: Nobody actually read what they said in the blog post...

        @Doctor Syntax

        It's not something I'd consider. After all you could say the same about any company. Ts and Cs of anyone could be drastically different if any company I deal with changes in a dramatic way. Doesn't stop me or anyone dealing with companies.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Nobody actually read what they said in the blog post...

          @Timmy B

          It depends on whether your use of the product depends on an ongoing arrangement with the vendor. If it doesn't then you don't need to worry. If it does then you should realise that pretty well anything could go wrong. Even the most stringent T&Cs aren't proof against the vendor going out of business. If it's simply some item you can live without - a sound system for instance - you could just be prepared to write off your investment in hardware. If it's something that's looking after your personal media collection then you need backups or, again be prepared to write it off. But if it's something your livelihood or business depends on then you do need to think seriously about what could happen if things go wrong.

          Risk involves both the probabilities and what you stand to lose.

    3. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Nobody actually read what they said in the blog post...

      "Nobody actually read"

      Why bother when what they say they will do is irrelevant.

      My personal privacy policy is to never never ever provide personal information to anyone without there being good enough reason. The only question I would need to ask is does Sonos have good reason and it very much sounds like they don't.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Nobody actually read what they said in the blog post...

      > "They are going so sell mah informationz" when they specifically say they wont and never will.

      There is a long list of companies which have made statements to that effect then turned around and done it anyway. Gotta love T&Cs which can be altered at any time.

  14. James Anderson

    Liar!

    "Sonos has always collected functional data from its devices. "If you choose to authorize Spotify," a company spokesperson explained in a phone interview with The Register, "we need to share information with Spotify."

    If you signon to Spotify with your Spotify userid from a device, there, is absolutely no need for the manufacturer of that device to be aware of your account. Spotify knows you have registered and does not need Sonos to tell it who its customers are, (or Apple or Android or Microsoft who let you use Spotify without insisting that you give up your privacy).

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We won't brick it

    "It's not like if you don't accept it, we'd be shutting down your device or intentionally bricking it."

    How fucking nice of you, Sonos, to not remotely sabotage goods the customer paid you for !

    IoT people, those days, they really believe to have every right and no duty !

    World is fucked if this continues.

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    And people wonder why some of us prefer open source software wherever possible.

  17. TheDataRecoverer

    No, I haven't read the full blog....perhaps I should....

    ....but which of the items listed in this article are the ones that greatly concern people?

    If it is links to other music services: heck, so far as I am concerned, they are part of the package of what I am using to listen to music!

    I'm reading the list thinking "how does that massacre my privacy" (as so many here appear to believe!).

    I would certainly agree Sonos are falling behind (lack of recent innovation), but they are very good speakers that work very well (in our 3-4 year experience, at least). Expensive: yes! Quality? yes!

    I do realise it is perfectly possible to kludge together a solution at a fraction of the cost, but it is a kludge, & probably won't work quite so smoothly: link to macbook/pc/tablet/phone is pretty seamless.... Sonos pretty well doe what it says on the tin!

    Guess I am missing the part where they got me to sign away my relatives in blood.

  18. djstardust

    Old Skool

    I still have a 1989 Technics separates system running to a 1993 Wharfedale sub and satellites. Sounds like a nightclub and produces "proper" stereo unlike that sonos crap in a corner.

    OK, so I have had to run the cabling behind walls and under the floor but the advantage is a better sound and no-one slurping my private data.

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Re: Old Skool

      Yep - my 40 year old kit has largely given up the ghost. Circuitry and knobs have got noisy. But my 30 year old (Quad + B&W speakers) is as good as ever and better than most new stuff. Like with cars I expect large consumer products lightly used to perform perfectly for at least 10 years, preferably 20. Anything after that is a bonus.

      Unlike computers - sound doesn't get faster. Wheels don'r get rounder. If the required functionality hasn't changed then either the engineering was/is wrong or it is deliberate product obsolescence which in an era where consimer waste/landfill is a real and growing environmental. Just not socially acceptable.

      But how do we convince the less old fashioned of this?

      1. Fihart

        Re: Old Skool @Stuart 22

        Me too -- Quad preamp and 405 power amp, B&W DM2 speakers, Thorens 125 turntable with Mission arm, Arcam CD. Most bought for peanuts, some actually saved from landfill. Lovely.

        I've heard of Sonos like I've heard of Bose. Seem to defy physics and half a century of hifi evolution.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old Skool

      I too have a separates system that produces "proper" stereo with a CD and turntable. It also has a line in from a Sonos Connect which means I can play anything off my NAS through my separates, or via a Sonos speaker in the kitchen, or the Sonos speakers located in the bedroom and study. Or any other room simply by moving one device to where ever I want it. Expensive? A bit, but not prohibitively. Convenient and reliable? Very.

      Easy enough to figure out where the Sonos data is going to and drop the outbound connection on my firewall.

      I'm not overly concerned about Sonos having some data off me, and it's great that they promise not to sell it on, but the fact that the data is getting to them via the internet means that they have servers available to hack.

  19. DML71

    Not sure what I'm missing. From reading the blog post sounds like they want to use the data to improve the product as much as possible. With information such as error logs, and if you are using Trueplay or not.

    The updated privacy terms explains what happens with voice data etc.

    I don't own a Sonos but if I did I'd be happy for them to use this information to make the product better.

    1. Lord Schwindratzheim

      I think it's the fact they are effectively making the data collection mandatory - and holding the users of expensive products they have shelled out for hostage.

      Terms of the privacy statement are almost immaterial - users should have the option. it's the whole Thin End Of The Wedge argument.

  20. MrKrotos

    Note to self

    Never ever buy a Sonos product

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Note to self

      .. well, at least until they change these terms.

      This suggests that it's a pure US company. If they had any EU outlets they'd be on a fairly solid collision course with EU data protection laws (PERC) which demand "fairness" (i.e. not bullied by denying updates until they cave in), but as a US company they can simply ignore that (AFAIK).

      1. SImon Hobson

        Re: Note to self

        ... If they had any EU outlets they'd be on a fairly solid collision course with EU data protection laws ...

        No you raise an interesting point. Sonos may not have a European presence (I haven't looked, don't own any of their kit) but it is imported and sold by companies with an EU presence. So how does that work when you buy it from an EU based wholesaler/retailer chain - but the US only manufacturer imposes terms in breach of EU regulations ? I know they changed the rules on product descriptions so that when you buy something, you can take account not only of what the retailers says it does, but also what the manufacturer has on their website - ie if the manufacturer's website says it can so $something but it doesn't, then that's sufficient to have a claim against the retailer.

        I suspect that is someone were to bring a test case, (some combination of) the importers/wholesalers/retailers might be found liable. Perhaps in cases like this, the importer is liable for compliance - like they are for things like electrical safety etc - that would open up a whole can of worms if the importer is legally liable for compliance with EU data protection laws for a product they have no control over the software in it.

        Now I suspect that if the importers suddenly turned round to Sonos and told them that they are dropping the brand for legal compliance reasons, then Sonos might change it's tune. Yup, certainly sounds like a test case is needed - not just for Sonos, but for stuff generally.

  21. McBiter

    Digital bullying

    I own and use a Sonos system linked into traditional speakers. Why? Because I can easily access all my stored music and some online services like the radio and spotify using an iphone.

    In contradiction of some of the earlier posts there is no similar system easily available of anywhere near the same capability ( no this is not an advert!) It can be flaky and loses connection regularly but it works.

    I resent being forced to give away more details about my life but we are told this is the price of progress.

    No doubt the next move will be to charge users for use of the product on a regular basis ( the Microsoft model)

    How about someone creates a competitor?

    1. Music Flow fanboy

      Re: Digital bullying

      I disagree. LG Music Flow has virtually all the same capability and a few SONOS does not. Like hi-res audio playback and Bluetooth connectivity. My music library is uploaded to Google Play Music and plays back flawlessly. The only real downside is Music Flow failed in the marketplace, so they are discontinued now. But that only means the deals are incredible right now. I have 14 speakers for the price of a Play 5 and a SONOS sub woofer.

  22. david willis

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    I note you wish to change the terms and conditions of use of my procured SONOS equipment.

    Please note that I object to my information being processed in the manner laid out by yourselves in your new privacy policy.

    (By object I refer you to the European Data Protection Regulation due into action in May 2018), as a registered data processor in the UK (ZA207909) you are required to record my objection and justify your use of information, this information includes Person Identifiable Information which is being processed without my explicit consent.

    Note your response may be forwarded to the Information Commissioners Office for their comment. If they judge that your processing is inappropriate they may make comment.

    I would refer you to the monetary penalties section of the GDPR, up to 4% of global turnover or 20M euros (whichever is the larger) for penalties should you be in breach of this legislation.

    You privacy policy is imposing a change in the contract between customer and supplier.

    One that I as the customer do not believe appropriate.

    As this is a unilateral change in contract and something I would not have agreed to when I originally procured my SONOS equipment, could I suggest you either make your processing optional (ask my consent and allow me an opt out) or alternatively arrange refund for the equipment I currently own and deletion of my information from your databases in line with the “right to be forgotten” as outlined by the GDPR.

  23. Milton

    Meet Mr Three Point Five Millimetre

    Just done a Properties check and our household server media/music directory has 65Gb of music in over 1,300 folders containing more than 17,000 tracks. Accumulated over the years through ripping CDs we'd collected (boring but worth it, haven't bought a CD in 6/7 years), latterly via Amazon music, Google Play and even the horrible iTunes.

    Our music. Paid for, once and once only. Playable through almost any device you can imagine. Backup-able on a uSD chip the size of my pinkynail for the price of a family pizza delivery.

    Better still, with neat little bud phones; decent speakers in every room, whether attached to my main PC or some scattered Roberts/other media player/radios, or inputs to the living room amp or absolutely anything else that will receive a 3.55mmm stereo jack, we can listen ...

    —without mysterious WiFi glitches that affect only crappy Sonos software;

    —without inexplicable interference;

    —without some inane DJ drivelling the purest stream-of-consciousness bullshit between tracks;

    —without hysterically dreadful adverts seemingly designed for people who've had a massive, messy lobotomy, hastily blabbered by imbeciles trying to get through the Rhyme of Deceit: "All the above is a lie, terms and conditions apply";

    —without installing more rubbishy, intrusive, leaky, malware-prone apps on phones, tablets, computers, laptops;

    —without pretending to read reams and reams of T&Cs designed to take my rights away (to listen to music I already paid for);

    —without wildly random intrusions suggesting that I'd "really like" this or that POS album because I'd listened to some Pink Floyd (no, I'm quite capable of deciding what I like for myself, and better at it by far than your so-called 'AI' which is, in truth, just clumsily trying to up- or cross-sell me some ghastly shyte);

    —without any faceless bunch of greed-mongers trying to trap me into their lousy 'ecosystem' (which is now a marketurd's euphemism for "a prison in which we hold your data hostage in order to keep your wallet open");

    —without having to 'share' information about myself and my family's tastes, contact details, equipment, network, domestic arrangements, household architecture, consumer electronics choices or indeed, anything whatsoever.

    And all this for about a quarter the cost of a bunch of lumpen, overpriced, randomly unreliable Sonos bricks.

    Of course, there's the downside of the terrible, nay, apocalytpic inconvenience of having to use 3.5mm stereo jack leads, the mammoth expense of replacing them occasionally for the price of a cup of coffee each, and the laborious, complex, scientific challenge of connecting them up.

    Thank heaven we have patchy, insecure, unreliable WiFi to solve the arduous problem of ... plugging a cable in. And venal, transparent Sonos to use it as a wedge into our bank accounts.

    1. sebt
      Thumb Up

      Re: Meet Mr Three Point Five Millimetre

      Bravo! Covers everything I wanted to say, and quite a few things I didn't even think of.

    2. Music Flow fanboy

      Re: Meet Mr Three Point Five Millimetre

      BRILLIANT!!

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Meet Mr Three Point Five Millimetre

      Completely with you except for the "stream of conciousness" bit. "Purest" wouldn't have been an adjective I'd ever have applied.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brennan B2

    No thanks Sonos, I will stick with my Brennan B2, hooked up to my old HiFI, plus Bluetooth speaker when required upstairs.

  25. Demogenes

    Bose tried this recently with their QC35s... took a law suite and information quickly came out how to disable it. Bose learned fairly quick....

    My guess is there could be a similar outcome here.

    Personally I do own devices from Sonos but I'm not accepting something like that. If it stops working I know where to send the letter(s). I can not really see why they need my personal data, they should be happy I pay the money for it that I do. :)

  26. Simon Buttress

    I'll take any if you're selling

    See title.

    If anyone's so narked that they're getting shot of some ZP100s or ZP120s, I'll take them, need a few more to complete the house.

    Ta.

  27. Jim-234

    Nobody want to just sell you something without spying on you forever

    Unfortunately it seems these days all the hardware & software vendors seem to have gone to the same idiot school of business and now refuse to just sell you products anymore and be happy with getting your money.

    They now all seem to think that in addition to getting your money they also should be able to spy on you forever and ever more intrusively and sell off any data they can get about you to somebody else.

    On top of that they all don't want to give you any option but that it seems.

    This is why Open Source software and hardware that is compatible with it, as well as hardware that is NOT software defined is important. Not to mention all the "software driven" stuff is way slower.

    I have a nice older Flat screen TV from right before they went software everything, it turns on near instantly, the menus are near instant, input changes are immediate, no ability to spy on me, or disable any features, or shove ads in my face.

    A far cry from the "please wait" that the new TVs seem to want to do when booting up, or the slow as anything menus. But you get bonus spyware with the new TVs, that you pay for!

    1. Music Flow fanboy

      Re: Nobody want to just sell you something without spying on you forever

      I will NEVER EVER in my lifetime own a network connected "smart" tv (i.e. in home surveillance device)

      I get enough of that crap from my phone.

  28. Music Flow fanboy

    SONOS is overpriced and overrated

    Personally, I went with LG Music Flow network connected speakers. I understand SONOS has BIG marketing behind them and so many celebrity endorsements, and their pricing reflects the sizeable ad campaign.

    While Music Flow ultimately failed due to its horrendously bad controller app, bad reviews and low ratings, I took a chance on it anyway, partly because I was such a huge fan of my LG G4. Yes, it was really bad and frustrating. But I stuck with it because when it did function properly, the sound was incredible to me. Extremely well balanced for my tastes in music, which leans heavily toward folk, rock, country, jazz, bluegrass, classical and movie score. Genres of music with real instruments and natural sound.

    Since Music Flow has been updated to work seamlessly with Google's Chromecast Audio protocol and Google Home app as a controller, the experience is now sublime. I am such a fan of the sound and ease of use of these speakers that I now have 14 of them in my home for a total of 760 watts. I purchased these 14 speakers for roughly the same amount of money that the SONOS Play 5 and the sub woofer would have cost me.

    I don't need voice control. I don't have Alexa devices or Google Home devices or any such thing in my home. My Oneplus 3T listens to, records and tracks enough of what I do without extra devices lying around doing the same thing. I need my speakers to play what I want, when I want them to without hassle, without nonsense and that's what I have with Music Flow. I am completely in love with these speakers.

    So, if SONOS wants to go the way of Apple and charge ridiculous amounts of money for products that they still own, control and dictate to the end user how the speakers will and will not be used, I say good luck SONOS. I'll be very interested to see how this "Play"s out.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    So, you don't need to be rich to own SONOS stuff. I've acquired a bit over the last few years, and it's good kit for the money. Works well for the family. However, the changes to the privacy policy are just unacceptable and I've today asked them to take back the equipment and refund the purchase price, based on a misrepresentation of what I was buying. I don't expect them to agree, but am seriously considering a "false and misleading" complaint to our local fair trading authority. Probably more wasted time, but this trend of monetising what's essentially mine has to be resisted....

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I don't expect them to agree"

      If they fulfil your expectation you could try the small claims court.

  30. uomopalese

    THERE'S MORE TO KNOW

    While, for what I can understand by reading this article, in your country SONOS is telling to customers that they will not recieve updates if not accept the new privacy (but seems that the app is still working), here in ITALY things are different: there's no way to use the device (Play 1) anymore if you don't accept the new privacy policy. The app (I'm on IOS) simply lead you to the screen where you have to accept the new rivacy policy, and if you don't do that, it brings you to the initial screen who says that "Sonos app needs to update to last version in order to have full functionality". That's it. Maybe they think that, as we are Italians, we agree by default. I paid over $ 200 for my device and I can't use it anymore. It's a shame. I'm going to sell my Play 1 on Ebay.

  31. Lusty

    "If you choose not to provide the functional data, you won't be able to receive software updates," the Sonos spokesperson explained. "It's not like if you don't accept it, we'd be shutting down your device or intentionally bricking it."

    Uurm, why has my Sonos system just stopped working then? Can't get past the update screen!

  32. gilesa

    Sonos told me i cannot use my system at all with immediate effect if I want my data deleted. This si their response when I asked:

    Hello Giles,

    Thank you for writing back.

    I understand that you are unhappy with the data that we collect.

    We can delete all your data that we hold for your account but if we were to do this then you will not be able to use your Sonos products as having a registered account is now a requirement to use Sonos.

    Please let me know how you would like to proceed.

    Kind regards,

    Matthew P.

    Sonos | Customer Care | Contact Us

    Ask questions, find answers, and share your thoughts on the Sonos Community.

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