Sonos’ policy change, outlined by chief legal officer Craig Shelburne, allows the gizmo manufacturer to slurp personal information about each owner, such as email addresses and locations, and system telemetry – collectively referred to as functional data – in order to implement third-party services, specifically voice control through Amazon’s Alexa software, and for its own internal use.
“If you choose not to provide the functional data, you won’t be able to receive software updates,” a Sonos spokesperson explained at the time. “It’s not like if you don’t accept it, we’d be shutting down your device or intentionally bricking it.”
A handful of customers, however, have managed to brick their Sonos speakers by refusing to accept the data harvesting terms accompanying version 7.4+ of the firmware and then subsequently updating their Sonos mobile app to a version out of sync with their legacy firmware.
In an email to The Register, a reader by the name of Dave wrote: “You should know that in the latest update it is now impossible to use the player without updating, effectively bricking my three devices. Numerous attempts to contact Sonos have met with silence on the issue, and the phone number in the app for support is no longer valid.”
Incredible that a company can change the terms of their product so one-sidedly without you having any recourse. And it’s not like these players are cheap!