Sex toy company settles lawsuit for lewd privacy infringements

Sex toy company settles lawsuit for lewd privacy infringements

A Canadian sex toy company will pay out millions of dollars for infringing the privacy of its users by collecting intimate data on the use of their products.

A connected sex toy company will pay out a hefty sum after it was revealed that it was collecting data on its customer's habits without permission. Standard Innovation Corporation is to settle a class action suit, filed by users of one of the company's products last year. The suit, filed by two unnamed women in late 2016, will pay out CA$4 million.

At the centre of this lawsuit is the We-Vibe 4 Plus, a vibrator which can connect to smartphones over Bluetooth to provide a mutually intimate experience for couples. The filing alleges that Standard Innovation "designed We-Connect to collect and record highly intimate and sensitive data regarding consumers' personal We-Vibe use, including the date and time of each use and the selected vibration settings, and transmit such usage data -- along with the users' personal email address -- to its servers in Canada."

Around the time the suit was filed, the company disclosed on its website that it did collect certain data from the device including IP addresses, times of use, app features and other details. The note also described the use of third party providers to collect analytical data “to help us improve our products and the quality of the We-Connect app.” The notice ensured that all data was anonymous.

Companies often collect information about their customers in order to improve service and refine an understanding of what its customers want, but that can occasionally creep into sinister invasions of privacy.

“One would hope that WeVibe were collecting information purely for product improvement”, Ken Munro, founder of Pen Test Partners said in an interview. “However, along the way the mobile app collected rather more data. Accidental or intentional ‘permission creep' in the mobile app led to users being identifiable in some cases.”

Munro also promised the release of similar research from Pen Test Partners: “so expect to see much more litigation along these lines.”

This case may bring to mind Uber's “Rides of Glory” experiment. By collecting data from its users, the ride sharing app's researchers found what nights, hours, neighbourhoods and cities were the best to have a one night stand.

A blogpost from Uber discussing the research judged its findings to be “fascinating”. The research was roundly met with disapproval and though the data used was anonymised, it was still damned as intrusive and sinister. The controversy-ridden company quickly took the disclosing blogpost down.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

Source: Copyright © SC Magazine, UK edition

See more about:  class action suit  |  security  |  sensitive data  |  sex toys
 
 

Readers of this article also read...

Intel Coffee Lake i3 specs leak, ahead of 21st August reveal 

Intel Coffee Lake i3 specs leak, ahead of 21st August reveal

 
Why Netflix's purchase of Millarworld marks a turning point for the industry 

Why Netflix's purchase of Millarworld marks a turning point for the industry

 
Android O could come out this week 

Android O could come out this week

 
The Galaxy S8 Active has arrived and is ready to take a beating 

The Galaxy S8 Active has arrived and is ready to take a beating

 
How to: Delete your Google history 

How to: Delete your Google history

 
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Sendle now integrates with Shopify
16 Aug 2017
Integration between the two services makes it easier – and potentially cheaper – to ...
Best antivirus software for business
14 Aug 2017
We select the top Windows antivirus software for business based on comprehensive testing of 13 ...
The case against moving to the cloud
9 Aug 2017
Are you better off keeping your hardware and software on-premises? We explain when you should.
Scammers turn to toll invoices
7 Aug 2017
It's the second major malware campaign targeting toll users – emails masquerading as ...
Top seven internet security suites
4 Aug 2017
We select the best Windows security suites based on comprehensive testing of 18 tools.

Latest Comments

From our Partners

PC & Tech Authority Downloads