Gadgets for humans

We-Vibe fined $3 million for spying on its customers through their smart vibrators


Canadian “smart” sex toy manufacturer We-Vibe recently felt the long, hard, stiff arm of the law when it was fined $4 million CAD (about $3 million USD) after it tracked users’ use without their consent.

The money will go to compensate those who bought the device. Owners of the We-Vibe 4 Plus who used the app are entitled to claim C$10,000 (about $7,500), while those who just bought the vibrator can claim up to $199, less legal fees.

This follows a successful class-action lawsuit that was brought before an Illinois federal court.

The We-Vibe 4 Plus retails at roughly $190, and is a bluetooth-enabled vibrator that can be controlled through an app. What makes this so interesting is that it can be remotely controlled – allowing couples that are separated  by distance to stay intimate.

But unfortunately, it was rife with security and privacy vulnerabilities. Many of these were documented by the Kiwi hackers Goldfisk and Follower at the Defcon 24 conference.

These revelations were pretty troubling stuff. For starters, the device could be easily hijacked by anyone in close proximity. Worse, it sent vast quantities of user data to the We-Vibe’s parent company, Standard Innovation.

In a statement, Standard Innovation said: “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.”

Published March 14, 2017 — 12:08 UTC

Pssst, hey you!

Do you want to get the sassiest daily tech newsletter every day, in your inbox, for FREE? Of course you do: sign up for Big Spam here.