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This Dildo Company Spied on Customers' Sex Lives and Is Paying $3 Million for It

Published On 03/14/2017 Published On 03/14/2017

Bedroom kinks have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, with sex toys offering stimulation through a more internet-based experience. But like anything running on software, “smart vibrators,” or sex toys operable through a remote control or app, emit data that can be collected by outside parties.

That’s exactly what happened with a certain dildo from We-Vibe, a Canadian sex-toy manufacturer. The company has been ordered by a federal court in Illinois to pay customers upwards of $10,000 for violating their privacy. The We-Vibe 4 Plus, a bluetooth connected vibrator fully operable via smartphone, collected user data (read: their sexual habits) and sent it back to We-Vibe’s parent company, Standard Innovation. The 4 Plus’ app also posed security concerns, as the court determined it could be easily hacked by anyone within a certain physical range. This, for people engaged in highly intimate activities, is not comforting information.

The We-Vibe 4 Plus | Amazon

The class-action suit’s ruling demands We-Vibe pay a fine of $4 million CAD -- roughly the equivalent of $3 million USD. Owners of the $190 dildo who used the app are entitled up to $10,000, while those who used to it in a more traditional vein can claim up to $199. For its part, Standard Innovation offered a statement on the matter: “At Standard Innovation we take customer privacy and data security seriously. We have enhanced our privacy notice, increased app security, provided customers more choice in the data they share, and we continue to work with leading privacy and security experts to enhance the app. With this settlement, Standard Innovation can continue to focus on making new, innovative products for our customers.”

In a more foreboding note, the 4 Plus’ vulnerabilities were first noticed at the Defcon 24 conference last year by two New Zealand-based hackers, “goldfisk” and “follower.” The duo called the clandestine dildo situation a “serious issue,” noting that “unwanted activation of a vibrator is potentially sexual assault.” It’s clear that not even our privates are safe from a potential data-breach in 2017.

[h/t Guardian]

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Sam Blum thinks dildo-hacking is very dystopian. Follow him @Blumnessmonster. 

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