Sonos, the popular wireless streaming home speaker maker, is embroiled in a row over changes to its privacy policies that could degrade the functionality of its products. The company's move also calls into question the reliability of always-connected Internet of Things devices.
If users who have already bought the company's products don't agree with the change to privacy policies, the company has threatened that "over time the functionality of the product will decrease".
Sonos explained the changes in a blog post. The changes include updates covering control via voice-activated assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the data the company's TruePlay technology uses to optimise in-room sound quality, and information sharing with partners.
"Next week, we'll be introducing some important updates to our privacy statement," the blog explained.
It continued: "Sonos owners and anyone who visits our website will be asked to acknowledge this new policy when we update our software and systems in the coming days. The new privacy statement covers what information we collect, how we use it, and the choices you can make about both.
"We use the data you share with us to improve your listening experience. For example, the information we collect allows us to understand your system's performance so we can make improvements to Sonos software and keep it secure. The data also makes tools like Trueplay tuning possible, so your speakers sound great in every room.
"And as we introduce new ways for you to control Sonos, like with your voice and via music service apps and smart home integrations, the data you provide makes these experiences seamless."
But users who object to the extension of the company's privacy policies could find themselves with increasingly redundant speaker, the company suggested in a statement to ZDNet.
"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 company warned.
The shift in privacy policies and the consequences for users that reject them highlight another major concern with internet-connected Internet of Things devices, and how organisations can move the goalposts after a consumer has invested their money in a system.
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