Standard Innovation’s We-Vibe IoT Vibrator Goes to Court

An anonymous plaintiff is suing Standard Innovation the creators of the We-Vibe Internet of Things vibrator over privacy concerns related to some of its built-in tracking features.

The Standard Innovation We-Vibe Has Been Identified As Privacy-Intruding

The Internet of Things (IoT) is probably one of the strongest technology trends that we have seen in a while. One of the notable cases where consumer devices have been featured as unusual includes an Internet-controlled sex toy. The product in question is manufactured by Standard Innovation and is known as the We-Vibe vibrator.

This is a series of different toys that are marketed mainly towards couples. The primary motivator for buyers is the built-in Sync technology which can be controlled via a mobile app available for Android and iOS users. The We-connect technology which pairs up with the Sync-enabled devices also works with Bluetooth connections. The Sync settings allows the owners of the We-Vibe to manipulate the stimulation and vibration modes. And this has turned into the cause for the class-action lawsuit.

According to the court documents an anonymous plaintiff have reached a settlement of the Plaintiff’s claims and the settlement class. The hearing is motioned for next month. The discussed issue is the tracking features of the We-Vibe mobile applications which records the duration of the sex toy’s usage. This data is relayed to the company’s servers along with other sensitive information recorded by the app.

Here are some of the excerpts that are described in the lawsuit:

  • To collect its customers’ Usage Information, Defendant designed and programmed We-Connect to continuously and contemporaneously intercept and monitor the contents of electronic communications that customers send to their We-Vibe devices from their smartphones, such as operational instructions regarding the users’ desired vibration intensity level and desired vibration “mode” or pattern. In other words, whenever users interact with their
    We-Vibe through We-Connect, Defendant intercepts the content of those interactions sent to the We-Vibe devices.
  • Defendant also designed and programmed We-Connect to transmit the contents of
    the Usage Information to its servers in Canada.
  • In addition, Defendant designed We-Connect to surreptitiously route information
    from the “connect lover” feature to its servers. For instance, when partners use the “connect
    Case: 1:16-cv-08655 Document #: 1 Filed: 09/02/16 Page 6 of 18 PageID #:67 “lover” feature and one takes remote control of the We-Vibe device or sends a communication, We-Connect causes all of the information to be routed to its servers, and then collects, at a minimum, certain information about the We-Vibe, including its temperature and battery life. That is, despite promising to create “a secure connection between your smartphones,” Defendant
    causes all communications to be routed through its servers.
  • Defendant never obtained consent from any of its customers before intercepting, monitoring, collecting, and transmitting their Usage Information. To the contrary, Defendant concealed its actual data collection policies from its customers knowing (i) that a personal vibrator that monitors, collects, and transmits highly sensitive and intimate usage data back to the manufacturer is worth significantly less than a personal vibrator that does not, and (ii) most, if not all, of its customers would not have purchased a We-Vibe in the first place had they known
    that it would monitor, collect, and transmit their Usage Information.

For more information you can read the proposed lawsuit and the Federal Court documents.

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Author : Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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