We-Vibe, a Canadian sex toy manufacturer, is liable for $3 million in damages after failing to provide adequate security for one of its devices. It seems like the app that connected the smart vibrator with the user’s phone was flawed, allowing third parties to access intimate information.
Investigators found that the company, itself, was analyzing user data, without asking for consent. Moreover, the security was so faulty, that anyone within Bluetooth range was able to access private information or, worse, gain control of the smart vibrator.
What is the We-Vibe?
The We-Vibe is a couples vibrator controlled by a remote. The problems started to arise when an app that allowed users to replace the wireless remote with a smartphone was developed. By convincing customers to connect the device to the smartphone, which contained plenty of personal information and had a convenient internet and Bluetooth connection, the company was able to fish for information without user consent.
The Lawsuit Was Filed by A Chicago Woman
A Chicago woman who identified herself only as N.P. filed the lawsuit after discovering that the data collected by the We-Vibe device was collected and processed by the company without the consent of users.
Moreover, according to the plaintiff, the app collected data on the frequency with which people used the device, its temperature, its vibrating intensity, and the time of day when the We-Vibe was active. All these information, alongside the personal email address of the users, were sent back to the company’s servers in Canada.
After the lawsuit had been filed, N.P. and Standard Innovation reached a settlement. The company has promised to pay up to $10,000 to all individuals who used the faulty app before September 26, 2016, and $199 to those who just bought the device, but didn’t have a chance to use it.
User Data is Safe with Standard Innovation
The sex toy manufacturing company is insisting that the data is safe on their servers. Furthermore, Standard Innovation accepts the faults of its product, a spokesperson declaring that they are pleased to have reached a “fair and reasonable settlement.”
Denny Alexander, the company’s spokesperson, also mentioned that Standard Innovation is keen on protecting user privacy and that their security measures have been increased, a team working on fixing the app’s privacy issues.
The most important lesson to be learned here is that the world seems to be unprepared for next generation sex-toys and those who are already on the market are in serious need of security upgrades.