IoT gone wrong? Sex toys share some saucy info

How great is IoT — as a subject, as a phenomenon, as a technology? All that information, all that knowledge, all that relevance that is being shared to get you whatever you want. Except what if it’s a sex toy sharing that info? Still feel comfortable about it?

Standard Innovation, maker of the connected sex toy We-Vibe, has been slapped with a federal lawsuit alleging that the company’s We-Connect app that comes with the vibrator collects too much information from its users, such as how often and how long consumers are using the toy. The data collected is sent to Standard Innovation’s Canadian servers.

Aside from the frequency and length of use, the lawsuit also states that the app monitors the “selected vibration settings,” the toy’s battery life, and even its “temperature” with consumer consent. Pretty saucy stuff for a user to be sharing, by most standards.

Perhaps this is it

screenshot-we-vibe-com-2016-09-21-09-51-34The We-Vibe app also has a feature that allows partners to send intimate messages, engage in video chats, and remotely control paired We-Vibe devices. All this data is collected, along with the person’s email address, and are stored in the company’s servers.

The lawsuit brought by a person who goes by the pseudonym “N.P.” alleges that Standard Innovation disregards privacy rights of We-Vibe users and even violated numerous state and federal laws.

The lawsuit alleges that We-Connect monitors, intercepts, and transmits “the contents of electronic communications” that users sent to their We-Vibe devices from their smartphones, including “their desired vibration intensity level and desired vibration mode.” This, the lawsuit alleges, is in violation of federal law.

The lawsuit also states that if consumers would have known how much information was being collected, there’s a good chance they would not have purchased the device.

Standard Innovation declined to comment on the lawsuit and clarified that consumer data has not been breached. But because of privacy concerns, the company says it has “taken steps to further enhance the data security and privacy measures for our product offering. As part of this effort, we have engaged external security and privacy experts to conduct a thorough review of our data practices with a view of further strengthening data protection and privacy for our customers.”

Over the line IoT?

The genie is out of the bottle, and IoT is here to stay. The questions for users and the businesses that create products for the consumer center on what information is stored and processed as well as what kind of info can be collected. It’s the kinds of questions that must be discussed when a product is being conceived. If businesses don’t ask themselves these questions, wrong decisions will be made.

Photo credits: Pixabay, Standard Innovation

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