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...

New Nvidia GeForce drivers get your PC ready for Star Trek: Bridge Crew 

New Nvidia GeForce drivers get your PC ready for Star Trek: Bridge Crew

 
25 secret WhatsApp tricks you (probably) didn't know about 

25 secret WhatsApp tricks you (probably) didn't know about

 
FCC votes to abolish net neutrality 

FCC votes to abolish net neutrality

 
Nine more Ryzen processors may be on the way 

Nine more Ryzen processors may be on the way

 
Microsoft hardware plummets despite cloud gains 

Microsoft hardware plummets despite cloud gains

 
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
More Ink and other features coming to Office 365
24 May 2017
Microsoft is adding improved support for its new Surface Pro and Pen, plus more flexibility in ...
What is CRM?
23 May 2017
We explain what customer relationship management software can do for businesses.
Netgear firmware update collects your IP and MAC addresses
23 May 2017
Users need to configure Nighthawk routers manually to opt out of sending the information to ...
Five ERP systems compared
22 May 2017
Looking to upgrade to an enterprise resource planning system? We take a closer look at five of ...
Researchers offer fixes for WannaCry ransomware
21 May 2017
Two researchers claim their tools can bypass WannaCry encryption on Windows XP and 7 – if ...

Latest Comments

Latest Competitions

WIN!!! A D-Link Omna security cam! 

WIN!!! A D-Link Omna security cam!

Watch your home from anywhere!
 

From our Partners

PC & Tech Authority Downloads