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.
The move has drawn ire from several privacy and policy experts.
“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.
Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said it was a “growing” problem among the consumer electronics space.
“[Device] makers obviously can do a lot about the problem,” said Tien. “They can design their systems to separate more data collection side from product feature. Obviously some features don’t work without data but even so, you can often choose to store data locally and not transmit it to some mothership somewhere.”
“Society as a whole continues down a path where devices in your home, traditionally our most private space, are largely controlled by other people who want to know what you’re doing,” he said.