Sonos Account: No way!


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Hello,
as a long time customer from Germany with 7 components and many recommendations to friends and family I want to inform you, that I will not create an Sonsos account. I read some postings here and in the press and I'm sad, that your company changes in a way Facebook does all time long. If you will castrate a long time running system only to force users to send you personal data, then I will abandon Sonsos, go to court in Germany (I want my money back, all!) and will take another system. Why don't you keep in mind: Never change a runnig system (a working business model)? I will never understand why people in business always exaggerate till the deadly end! (sorry for my poor english, but I'm realy angry)

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159 replies

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I think about it, but the prices are down. The loss is too high at the moment and I still have no buy-back offer from Sonos. Cross the fingers for me, maybe it will show up in short ...


They reportedly bought back devices last year when they updated their privacy policy so not without precedent.

That would be great ! It's a bit tricky, that they changed the policy, but now implement things like the need for that account on a different timeline. I still hope !
The protocol requires a larger buffer and more powerful (64 bit vs 32) processor than those available on the older devices. Believe it or not.

And Sonos is not "already start(ing) to contain legacy stuff in the same FW". They don't all run the same firmware, there is separate firmware for each type of device. But that's quite different from maintaining separate firmware for each user.

Also, you most certainly DO NOT have to install Sonos firmware. One guy in here stayed at version 4.X for YEARS because he hated 5.0.

Which brings me to ask, Blurb. Is there anything you "know" about Sonos that is actually based on truth? Because for a self-styled expert, you get a lot of things very wrong.
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But whatever, believe whatever you want.

Will do 😃 - knowing that streaming is currently "en vogue" and maybe also the future, when everybody has a broadband connection ( and satellites & ground signals are dead). For me it is currently too expensive.

You're talking about hardware limitations of specific devices. Sonos has always put new features on all existing products whenever it was technically possible. The CR100 is a complex /controversial issue that has been discussed to death, but airplay 2 on play:1 is not. It's not a matter of allow/enable, it's a matter of 'not possible'. Big difference. And yes, of course Sonos could create multiple versions of software to meet the specific needs of specific customers. But remember, this is freeware, no license or support charges to use to pay for the cost of maintaining these versions.

I agree there are some HW limitations e.g. like no mic, no speech control. When it is just about a different protocol, then I have my doubts and I am not convinced by just the company that produces the device. But I need to accept this. So the FW now already has a "switch" integrated to enable Airplay, if the device is a Play One, but disable if the device is a Play:1. So they already start to contain legacy stuff in the same FW. To my mind, it would also be possible to enable - maybe only the advanced user - to make their decision of an account or not.

I think when you compare with others like MS, Apple etc. they all provide patches, bug fixes and minor changes for free. So Sonos is just doing what is good practice (BTW: it is not freeware). Currently the difference is, that you have to install the new FW, which is normally not the case. And there is no possibility to downgrade, in case you don't want the installed FW.
I don't believe that's quite accurate. My understanding is that they provided vouchers for future purchase for devices that would become non-functional by the latest software. Nuanced difference, I'd grant you, but one that I think would be significant in this particular case.
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I think about it, but the prices are down. The loss is too high at the moment and I still have no buy-back offer from Sonos. Cross the fingers for me, maybe it will show up in short ...


They reportedly bought back devices last year when they updated their privacy policy so not without precedent.
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You aren't the typical customer though. ....
From your perspective, it's a problem, but from the perspective of the vast majority of customers,

I think those statement could only come from a marketing diagnostic group inside Sonos, or did I miss a hole where everybody could get all the data what customers are doing with Sonos system ? Have you are source for that ?
If you "believe" or "from your usage" would be a better statement and we could doubt: it depends on the streaming possibilities ( band-width and offer ) by country if you like streaming or not. I know some people nearby have a very low band-width so that streaming is no idea for them ( they still use USB keys to exchange data).


I've seen stats posted on her before that the number of customers using local libraries was very low. I forget the actual percentage and where the source was from. Regardless, it's a logical conclusion based on the direction Sonos is going and what's you observe from posts around here. Yes, those that do want Sonos to remain as it was 10 years ago are the most vocal, but they don't outnumber everyone else.

But whatever, believe whatever you want.


I agree with you that Sonos needs to continue their business and improve as much as possible, BUT they also install their own boundaries. E.g. no longer support of CR100 or now no AirPlay2 on the Play:1 first generation. So they are already differentiating by system what they allow/enable and what not . So it would also be possible to have a a different patch strategy by system and allow the customer the choice of implementation.


You're talking about hardware limitations of specific devices. Sonos has always put new features on all existing products whenever it was technically possible. The CR100 is a complex /controversial issue that has been discussed to death, but airplay 2 on play:1 is not. It's not a matter of allow/enable, it's a matter of 'not possible'. Big difference. And yes, of course Sonos could create multiple versions of software to meet the specific needs of specific customers. But remember, this is freeware, no license or support charges to use to pay for the cost of maintaining these versions.


Sorry, going forward I will ignore your comments! There is no need to get personal or to make statements as knowing insides, while you are not working for Sonos ( or at least never mentioned that you are an official member of Sonos team )


I'm not the one claiming to have definitive inside knowledge of what Sonos does, you are!
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I have an email in foreign languages from Sonos, that is stating that as I have asked them to delete my privacy data.


So that means they keep "a list". It sould be a one-off auto-generated e-mail. Again, you have no idea of any of thier processes, you are pulling things out of your tin-foil hat.

Sorry, going forward I will ignore your comments! There is no need to get personal or to make statements as knowing insides, while you are not working for Sonos ( or at least never mentioned that you are an official member of Sonos team )

I think about it, but the prices are down. The loss is too high at the moment and I still have no buy-back offer from Sonos. Cross the fingers for me, maybe it will show up in short ...


Get it through your head, no matter how much silly doom-and-gloom you post on this site:

Sonos.Is.Not.Buying.Back.Your.Sonos.Devices!

I have an email in foreign languages from Sonos, that is stating that as I have asked them to delete my privacy data.


So that means they keep "a list"? It could be a one-off auto-generated e-mail. Again, you have no idea of any of their processes, you are pulling things out of your tin-foil hat.


You are right it states : "Parties with whom it might be necessary when we reasonably believe ..."



No, it says "Parties with whom it might be necessary when we reasonably believe it is required by law or in connection with legal proceedings; to prevent harm to Sonos or its customers; for the prevention and detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders; to maintain the security of our Products or to protect the rights or property of Sonos.

That's a pretty specific list. So what exactly is 'high & wide' or needs to be "clarified"?

Also, I see you conveniently snipped the stuff about device temperature. Just because you snipped it doesn't mean it wasn't there, so you will be reminded of that post (again) the next time you mention it (again).
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Hey Blurb, I thought you were selling your Sonos?
I think about it, but the prices are down. The loss is too high at the moment and I still have no buy-back offer from Sonos. Cross the fingers for me, maybe it will show up in short ...
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They keep what is legal required . . .


No, they keep what is necessary to operate your devices. Nothing "legal" or illegal about it.


. . . and also a list with people that have asked to be deleted ( why ? ).


Proof of the bolded?

I have an email in foreign languages from Sonos, that is stating that as I have asked them to delete my privacy data.


If you read critical through their statement, you will ask yourself some questions. E.g.statements like " ...if there is an reasonable interest .... " are 'high & wide' and could be more clarified. Other data, you wonder why they track it and how that could be miss-used in case the server from Sonos are hacked ( e.g. device temperature )

...
Also, the words "reasonable interest" do not appear anywhere in the Sonos Privacy Policy.

You are right it states : "Parties with whom it might be necessary when we reasonably believe ..."
Hey Blurb, I thought you were selling your Sonos?
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You aren't the typical customer though. ....
From your perspective, it's a problem, but from the perspective of the vast majority of customers,

I think those statement could only come from a marketing diagnostic group inside Sonos, or did I miss a hole where everybody could get all the data what customers are doing with Sonos system ? Have you are source for that ?
If you "believe" or "from your usage" would be a better statement and we could doubt: it depends on the streaming possibilities ( band-width and offer ) by country if you like streaming or not. I know some people nearby have a very low band-width so that streaming is no idea for them ( they still use USB keys to exchange data).

I agree with you that Sonos needs to continue their business and improve as much as possible, BUT they also install their own boundaries. E.g. no longer support of CR100 or now no AirPlay2 on the Play:1 first generation. So they are already differentiating by system what they allow/enable and what not . So it would also be possible to have a a different patch strategy by system and allow the customer the choice of implementation.

And again, the account is critical as they also try to collect more data and could combine these data streams for whatever future needs. Classical you would do surveys with your customers and you would get answers if you tread them well. Here, if you are looking through all the data privacy statements you still don't know exactly what they track ( "This data includes things like..." of their data privacy statement means that there could be more not mentioned.

They keep what is legal required . . .


No, they keep what is necessary to operate your devices. Nothing "legal" or illegal about it.


. . . and also a list with people that have asked to be deleted ( why ? ).


Proof of the bolded?


If you read critical through their statement, you will ask yourself some questions. E.g.statements like " ...if there is an reasonable interest .... " are 'high & wide' and could be more clarified. Other data, you wonder why they track it and how that could be miss-used in case the server from Sonos are hacked ( e.g. device temperature )


You have been told multiple times why they need device temperature (for support and diagnostics) and how it is acquired (through a voluntary diagnostic sent by the user). You also know that it is among the many items Sonos allows you to opt out of. So find another horse to flog.

Also, the words "reasonable interest" do not appear anywhere in the Sonos Privacy Policy.
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. As a citizen in EU, I also want that sellers on the market respect the data privacy laws of EU. I think Sonos is doing a good job for explaining what they will collect, but the opt-out solution is not a complete customer oriented solution. And maybe these type of discussion let them think. At the end the customers pay their bill.

Blurb, in what way do you think Sonos is or may be violating EU privacy laws? Imo their privacy policy is pretty good, but Im not familiar with GDPR.


I try to find out, where they store their data. A US data center is not in alignment with EU GDPR to my knowledge as US Government is not following the laws from EU for data privacy. The safe harbour agreement is no longer valid. Other point is, that - if you ask them to delete your data - they don't delete all. They keep what is legal required ( now, which law is the background EU or US ? ) and also a list with people that have asked to be deleted ( why ? ).

If you read critical through their statement, you will ask yourself some questions. E.g.statements like " ...if there is an reasonable interest .... " are 'high & wide' and could be more clarified. Other data, you wonder why they track it and how that could be miss-used in case the server from Sonos are hacked ( e.g. device temperature )
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Let's assume I was interested in using a ZP80 as a media streamer for my local NAS to my main amplifier/speaker system, with no need for streaming. What would have to be "protected" in this case?

I am interested in having the firmware consistently updated, and my local track database secure. I don't see how an account would be a benefit in this.


You aren't the typical customer though. There are not that many customers left who use local libraries, don't use any streaming services, and have the same privacy concerns that you do. What you're saying is that Sonos needs to have their firmware geared to your specific needs/wants. While they probably could have put in some logic so that accounts were not required under the specific circumstances, it probably would have been wasted effort for the vast majority of customers, and would have taken limited resources on the older units.


We first implemented this account linking to facilitate seamless integration with cloud services like Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and Deezer. A Sonos account gives you complete access to the full Sonos experience and another layer of protection for your system. Since then, we made it mandatory for all systems.
That is the problem. I don't care about streaming services, and bought my systems at a time where there was no such thing as Spotify. You requiring an account now essentially bricks these (expensive) devices even for local streaming.


Again, you are far from the typical customer though. I also bought my Sonos at a time before their were streaming services, and loved it for what it was. However, if they had not grown with the times, and included streaming services, my Sonos would have effectively been bricked as far as I'm concerned. I would have moved off Sonos to a more modern system. If Sonos hadn't integrated with voice series, again, I would have looked into a system that did. Even if Sonos had left the old line of products alone, and only enabled modern services with new products, I would have likely moved off Sonos since I couldn't leverage the products I already have.

From your perspective, it's a problem, but from the perspective of the vast majority of customers, it's the solution. From Sonos perspective, it's the only way that can continue to do business.

I would not be too surprised though if years from now, technology and privacy concerns grow to the point where companies and their products stop depending on accounts and cloud computing so heavily and become more self contained again. I'll be happy when it gets here.
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. As a citizen in EU, I also want that sellers on the market respect the data privacy laws of EU. I think Sonos is doing a good job for explaining what they will collect, but the opt-out solution is not a complete customer oriented solution. And maybe these type of discussion let them think. At the end the customers pay their bill.

Blurb, in what way do you think Sonos is or may be violating EU privacy laws? Imo their privacy policy is pretty good, but Im not familiar with GDPR.
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The system creates a UUID, so Sonos is able to connect the order with the account. So at least once you have to give your name and second when register your product. If you later use a fake-account is not interesting as the UUID is still there and will enable a connection.


Nonsense. You have absolutely no inside information on this process, you are just pulling things out of your tin-foil hat. There is no way Sonos is going to automatically connect a purchaser to a registration account, because that would make buying Sonos to give as a gift impossible.

And even if your paranoia induced fantasy is true (it's not), it most certainly does not make registering with a fake account "not legal" as you said in your post. Also, it is easily thwarted by not purchasing directly from Sonos.


So if you shouting out , that my assumptions are nonsense: how can you be sure ? Are you working for Sonos ? Do you have insights ? From an IT point of view, my assumptions are possible. Remember that FB creates profiles of users that are NOT FB users, by analytics of FB users.

It has nothing to do with paranoia: There are examples of data collections outside, where a good thought turned into a death trap due to this data collection. So I don't want and that companies collect data, what helps their business but not myself. As a citizen in EU, I also want that sellers on the market respect the data privacy laws of EU. I think Sonos is doing a good job for explaining what they will collect, but the opt-out solution is not a complete customer oriented solution. And maybe these type of discussion let them think. At the end the customers pay their bill.
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The change recently is that we've added a step requiring systems to be linked with an email verified, password protected account. This protects your Sonos account, data, and system as a precautionary measure.
Ryan, could you please explain this in a bit more detail?

Let's assume I was interested in using a ZP80 as a media streamer for my local NAS to my main amplifier/speaker system, with no need for streaming. What would have to be "protected" in this case?

I am interested in having the firmware consistently updated, and my local track database secure. I don't see how an account would be a benefit in this.

We first implemented this account linking to facilitate seamless integration with cloud services like Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and Deezer. A Sonos account gives you complete access to the full Sonos experience and another layer of protection for your system. Since then, we made it mandatory for all systems.
That is the problem. I don't care about streaming services, and bought my systems at a time where there was no such thing as Spotify. You requiring an account now essentially bricks these (expensive) devices even for local streaming.

I know there are some questions about privacy ...
Privacy is only half the problem. Even assuming I trusted your company, I would have to then trust that you're able to secure your main databases. And there is a long line of examples that that kind of trust is just not warranted.


The system creates a UUID, so Sonos is able to connect the order with the account. So at least once you have to give your name and second when register your product. If you later use a fake-account is not interesting as the UUID is still there and will enable a connection.


Nonsense. You have absolutely no inside information on this process, you are just pulling things out of your tin-foil hat. There is no way Sonos is going to automatically connect a purchaser to a registration account, because that would make buying Sonos to give as a gift impossible.

And even if your paranoia induced fantasy is true (it's not), it most certainly does not make registering with a fake account "not legal" as you said in your post. Also, it is easily thwarted by not purchasing directly from Sonos.
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BTW: that is not legal as Sonos states under https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/terms that you need to provide true data
"3.You guarantee that the information you provide to Sonos in the order is accurate and complete."


Notice "in the order" . . .

So what does the information given during the order process have to do with registering under a burner e-mail? You certainly don't need to register under the same e-mail as the order (after all, what if it is a gift to someone else?).


The system creates a UUID, so Sonos is able to connect the order with the account. So at least once you have to give your name and second when register your product. If you later use a fake-account is not interesting as the UUID is still there and will enable a connection.

BTW: that is not legal as Sonos states under https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/terms that you need to provide true data
"3.You guarantee that the information you provide to Sonos in the order is accurate and complete."


Notice "in the order" . . .

So what does the information given during the order process have to do with registering under a burner e-mail? You certainly don't need to register under the same e-mail as the order (after all, what if it is a gift to someone else?).
By the way, factory reset your gear before selling:

https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/factory-reset-6798133
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Schlemiel,

When you take the matter to Court in Germany, everyone will know who you are, as Court records are 'public' documents... it would be easier to just provide pseudo credentials to Sonos and just carry on using your system. Why cut off your nose to spite your face?

I too like to keep some of my personal details 'private' and there are often some simple answers to address such personal paranoia.

BTW: that is not legal as Sonos states under https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/terms that you need to provide true data
"3.You guarantee that the information you provide to Sonos in the order is accurate and complete."